Thursday, December 30, 2010



By Jerry Okungu

Nairobi, Kenya

December 30, 2010

Like a good Christian, I thank God for being alive and hopefully, I will live to see the beginning of 2011. This year has been no ordinary one for us Kenyans. It is the year we voted in a new constitution and saw it promulgated publicly three weeks later.

Getting the new constitution was not without drama. A few clauses in the document saw the majority of the church team up with a few politicians mainly from the Rift Valley and parts of Eastern Provinces to oppose the document. For the Church, it was the inclusion of the Kadhi’s courts, a line on abortion and gay marriages that they felt strongly about. For the politicians that joined them in opposing the document, it was less to do with Christian beliefs or opposition to what the church held dear. It was more to do with political leverage for the 2012 elections.

However, when the votes were counted and the Reds lost the vote, the marriage between the church and the few politicians they campaigned with seemed to have fizzled out.

Soon after the constitution was promulgated, many political heavyweights stepped aside for one reason or another due to the strict integrity clauses in the new constitution. First, we saw William Ruto step aside from the Ministry of Higher Education after being formally charged in court over alleged fraudulent selling of public land to a public corporation way back in 2002.

In quick succession followed Foreign Minister, Moses Wetangula and Thuita Mwangi his Permanent Secretary who also stepped aside following the scandal at the Tokyo land buying fiasco after a protracted Parliamentary Committee on Defense and Foreign Relations investigation.

As they year drew to a close, two political events took place. First, Moreno Ocampo finally named his six suspects over post election violence in 2007-2008. Some of the names in the Ocampo list were already common knowledge among Kenyans however, including Francis Muthaura the Head of the Civil Service, Henry Kosgey the Minister for Industrialization and one Joshua arap Sang of KASS FM was some kind of a shocker to Kenyans. Secondly, the American government announced that it had banned four prominent Kenyans from setting foot on American soil for their involvement in drugs trade.

When finally the list was read in Parliament, it included one assistant minister and four members of parliament. However, when one of the alleged drug barons stood on a point of order, he challenged Prof. George Saitoti’s list because accoding to him, two more names were missing in the minister’s list. One of those names he claimed was missing was that of Eugene Wamalwa of Saboti constituency.

True to the character of Kenyan politics, we can never have a normal criminal case such as killing people during elections or peddling drugs without throwing politics into it once we are suspected of being involved. In this country, it has become standard practice to commit a crime then blame it on others or better still, run to our tribe claiming that our community is being targeted. We never take responsibility for our actions and wait for the due process to clear our names.

A good example is this story of Eugene Wamalwa, a man who has hardly been in Parliament for three years but already feels that he is the messiah that Kenyans have been waiting for all these years to lead them from slavery to the land of freedom, milk and honey. But because his fellow MP has included his name in the list of drug barons, Wamalwa is seeing mischief in the allegation. A cartel of political leaders is bent on derailing his presidential bid because they are scared of his candidature.

Hon Kabogo, a member of parliament for Juja should know better. He is on the list of the alleged honourable drug barons. If he chooses to include his fellow MPs in the list, it may be difficult to read any malice other than to ask Prof. George Saitoti to be fair. Now we have to wait patiently for the Speaker of the National Assembly to authenticate Hon Kabogo’s version.

However instead of asking for justice in the courts of law as MPs Haroun Mwau, Joho and others have done, Hon Wamalwa has chosen to drag in the names of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto who are not on the drug barons’ list. He is seeing an evil political hand that has chosen to take two presidential aspirants to The Hague while dimming his presidential ambitions in a local court in a case involving drug dealing. In Wamalwa’s wisdom, he sees himself, William Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta as little messiahs, being persecuted by political Herods of our time because the Herods of our politics cannot afford to see new kings born to challenge their authority.

There is nothing wrong with Wamalwa gunning for the presidency but to compare himself with Jesus during this Christmas season is blasphemy to say the list. Jesus and Herod of the Bible have nothing to do with our politics and criminal activities of our leaders.