Wednesday, January 12, 2011



By Jerry Okungu

Nairobi, Kenya

January 12, 2011

For those who underrated PLO Lumumba; for those who thought he was all rhetoric and no spine; they are fast eating humble pie. The man has indeed entered into the kitchen and despite the heat; he is busy cooking his meal.

For the last three years, my ears have had enough of the so called young politicians jostling for a generational change at State House. All a long, these self styled righteous Kenyans have blamed all the ills of our country on the old guard; implying that if they do an Obama thing in Kenya, all our problems would be history.

A quick glance at these young future presidents tells a different story. In their 30s, some of them joined Moi’s cabinet in his last days. Today, some of these leaders must battle accusations of corruption in and out of our courts. If you look at it even more keenly, they are some of the same characters that derailed the 1992 second liberation when they joined KANU’s old guard as YK’92 brigade to derail the FORD revolution. When they joined KANU in their 20s, they did not do it out of any known respectable conviction. They joined it for cash handouts from good old KANU. And for thirty pieces of silver, they sold their souls to a regime that had oppressed and exploited poor Kenyans for over a decade. Twenty years later and in their early 40s they are still telling us that they are the young messiahs we have been waiting for!

There is one trait that is gaining currency with some of our young politicians. They have become political prostitutes whose only ideology is to smell cash wherever it may be. It is the same reason one Member of Parliament can follow Jimmi Kibaki’s Simama Kenya today, William Ruto’s UDM tomorrow and Maina Njenga’s Mungiki party the following day, all in a span of one year.

What makes a politician change allegiance this often? Perhaps such politicians imagined that an outfit fronted by the President’s son would be dripping with cash. When cash wasn’t flowing, the next target was William Ruto who is rumored to have deep pockets. When Ruto’s trail failed to match Livondo’s helicopter stunt, they turned to Maina Njenga in the hope that the Mungiki financial arsenal would yield something. We are watching with keenness how far this marriage will last now that it is rumored Kalonzo and Uhuru are also on the cards for these political rolling stones.

However, the most appalling behavior that should worry Kenyans is the tendency of young politicians in Parliament to gang up against any public institution that they perceive not to be working in their political party or community interests.

We have in recent months seen some of the most pathetic motions tabled in Parliament to abolish this or that institution because such an institution has had the audacity to challenge political power bases of some of our leaders.

It all started with a motion in Parliament to pull Kenya out of the ICC protocol simply because six Kenyan suspects were lined up for hearing at The Hague for Crimes against Humanity. Because five of the six suspects were either a cabinet minister, an MP or a top civil servant, our young Turks decided that the ICC did not have to be in our law books.

After the ICC motion was passed, the same clique trained their guns on Kenya National Human Rights Commission, an outfit they accused of incriminating their colleagues now headed for The Hague.

This lynch mob that we call Parliament got some of its sane members worried. And as Hon Martha Karua aptly put it; if we were to disband every institution that takes to task our friends, tribesmen and family members, where would we stop? Would we disband the Local Magistrate’s Courts, High Courts and Courts of Appeal if they convicted our tribesmen because really this is what it amounts to when MPs try to get rid of the ICC and the KNHRC in their fits of anger?

The other day when Parliament forced Moses Wetangula and his Permanent Secretary to step aside due to corruption scandal in our Tokyo Embassy, young Turks in PNU cried foul that their side was being targeted with Parliamentary investigations. A few weeks later , when William Ruto and Henry Kosgey were arraigned in court to face charges of economic crimes young Turks in the ODM side were up in arms claiming that KACC prosecutions were getting selective and out to finish ODM.

These are indeed worrying trends when those leaders that are supposed to know better can put road blocks on the path of KACC in discharging its duties.

Indeed KACC must be criticized when occasion demands. Nobody is saying that Integrity House is a pack of angels. Kenyans there are normal human beings with their weaknesses. All they need is fair criticism that is well grounded and balanced; not emotional outbursts skewed with partisan politics that cannot move this country forward.

If young politicians want my vote for 2012, they must first stop peddling drugs and support the fight against corruption even if their mothers, fathers, husbands and wives are charged. That is the leadership I expect from my future president.