Saturday, March 26, 2011




Posted Saturday, March 26 2011 at 09:35

First Lady Lucy Kibaki on Friday asked Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka to keep off her family. Mrs Kibaki was annoyed by claims attributed to Mr Musyoka in US embassy cables released by whistleblower website WikiLeaks.

He becomes the second Vice President in Mr Kibaki’s reign to incur the First Lady’s wrath.Mr Musyoka is said to have described the President as sickly and given accounts of events at State House that the First Lady deemed were malicious.

The first was former Vice-President Moody Awori in 2004 when she told him off for referring to her as the “second lady”.

In a statement to media houses, Mrs Kibaki described the comments attributed to the VP in the leaked diplomatic cables as “barefaced falsehood, innuendos, unkind and against African values”.

She accused the VP of allowing his “selfish interests” to drive him to make unsavoury remarks aimed at tainting the integrity of President Kibaki and urged Kenyans to avoid such talk.

“I urge Kenyans to engage in constructive dialogue that will take our country to the next level rather than smear other people’s reputation for their selfish interests,” she said.

The First Lady questioned the VP’s audacity to discuss her residence and President Kibaki’s family with US ambassadors William Bellamy and Michael Ranneberger in cables that were sent to Washington between March 2006 and November 2007.

At the time, Mr Musyoka was a member of ODM Kenya, an opposition party comprising Prime Minister Raila Odinga, deputy PM Musalia Mudavadi and suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto, among others.

“In some of these cables, Kalonzo Musyoka is reported to have discussed residential matters of the First Family and made innuendos regarding the composition of the same family,” she observes.

She opened the statement by asserting that she resides at State House.

“In the said leaks, Kalonzo Musyoka is said to have alleged that I do not reside at State House, adding that I moved to State House when I learnt there were night meetings taking place there,” she said.

Mrs Kibaki stated that Kenyans were aware that she was a resident of State House from where she has carried out her charitable work on HIV/Aids and her role as the President’s wife.

“I wish to inform Kenyans that this is barefaced falsehood. As all Kenyans are aware, I have been resident at State House where I have conducted my duties and responsibilities as the spouse of the President. It is also from State House that I have continued to undertake my charitable activities within the framework of the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/Aids,” she said.

She added: “I also wish to inform Kenyans that no night meetings were taking place in State House. The allegation by Kalonzo Musyoka that I moved to State House to check on night meetings was false and conceived in bad faith.”

In the cable that was dispatched by Mr Bellamy in March 2006, Mr Musyoka was quoted as saying that Mrs Kibaki was residing at the affluent Muthaiga.

“According to Musyoka (and many other), First Lady Lucy does not reside at State House with the President but stays at their residence in Nairobi’s Muthaiga suburb. Upon learning that secret meetings with political figures could be taking place in State House, Lucy reasoned that other secret liaisons (with unofficial second wife could be transpiring as well.

“She went to State House, where she stayed for two days to make her presence felt,” the VP is further quoted as saying.

On Friday, Mrs Kibaki said that while State House was the official residence of the President’s family, any member had the right to chose to put up at a private residence.

The First Lady, for the second time officially declared that members of the First Family were well known.

“I wish to clarify that the composition of the First Family is in the public domain and its integrity and moral authority is beyond reproach. Any insinuations to the contrary are unfounded and false. As Kenyans are aware, however, it is a well known fact that there are people who go around masquerading to belong to the families of prominent people in public life. Members of the public should distinguish between genuine family members and imposters,” she said.

“I further take great exception to Mr Kalonzo Musyoka’s reported allegations that President Kibaki slept on his job due to drugs administered on him. As Kenyans are fully aware, at no time has President Kibaki slept on his job. Indeed, claims to this effect were never substantiated in the Wikileaks,” she said.The First Lady was more upset by claims that President Kibaki ‘slept on the job’ due to the treatment that he was undergoing. She pointed to the improved economic growth from 2 per cent in 2002 to 5.8 per cent in 2006 and 7 per cent in 2008.

She went on: “Kenyans will remember that it is at this time that the economy begun to record unprecedented levels of growth. Indeed, the economy grew by 5.8 per cent in 2006 when the cables were being wired and rose to 7 per cent compared to 1 per cent in 2002, when the President took office. Obviously, this is an indicator of a country under sound management in every respect and does not suggest a chief executive asleep on his job.”

Mr Musyoka is alleged to have told Mr Bellamy in March 2006 thus: “I don’t know if it’s the drugs that they’re giving him (Kibaki), but he’s sleeping on the job.”

Mrs Kibaki said it was cruel of the VP to discuss the President’s health in manner that showed he was deriving pleasure from it.

“In any case, it is clearly unkind and contrary to African, indeed human, values to discuss other people’s health and to appear to derive fiendish delight from their poor health,” she said.

She expressed surprise at revelations that Mr Musyoka had urged then US President George W. Bush to prevail over President Kibaki not to contest the 2007 elections to clear the way for him.

“Like other Kenyans, I was particularly dismayed to read further revelations that Mr Kalonzo appealed to the US to prevail on President Kibaki not to run for another term in order to pave way for Kalonzo to ascend to leadership,” she said.