Wednesday, April 11, 2012



By Jerry Okungu
Nairobi, Kenya
April 10, 2012

If there was one thing that Jakoyo Midiwo achieved last Saturday with his pronouncement about the possible murder of Raila Odinga, he brought the entire nation to a standstill. The entire nation was stunned. Mourners too that had gathered at Dr. AL Gondi’s funeral looked bewildered. In fact their faces told it all.

They were not sure whether to mourn Gondi or absorb the new threat to Raila Odinga’s life. Either way; whatever it is that made Jakoyo drop this bombshell at the funeral; it surely produced the desired results. He hit the entire nation with what would have been compared to a 15 kilogram bomb hurled at the crowd by an Al Shabbab suicide bomber.

If indeed there is fire underneath the smoke that Jakoyo unleashed at Leah Gondi’s funeral, the police must wear their masks and dig deep under the smoke to put out the fire because if they don’t, that fire, lit by careless arsonists may consume us all including the arsonists.

To analyze this story, let us start with the messenger of this bad news. Jakoyo Midiwo is no ordinary man. He is not insane, deranged nor does he court any signs of mental disorder. He is not some chang’aa drinking villager or some mad man at the marketplace prone to gatecrashing at village funerals and making outrageous statements in front of mourners. He is a respected member of parliament for Gem Constituency, a Chief Whip in Kenya’s parliament and a first cousin to Prime Minister Raila Odinga. In a nutshell, he is too responsible to utter carelessly matters as grave as the assassination of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya.

During his speech at the funeral, Jakoyo mentioned two crucial things: One, he chose to go public at that funeral because had he tried to confide in the intended target, he would have been dismissed casually. However, he conceded that he had discussed the matter with a cabinet minister and a permanent secretary known to be close the Prime Minister.
He also said he was ready to swear by the bible and stand by his story. He was confirming that he had credible evidence to prove those allegations.

With those two compelling statements, Midiwo threw the ball in the Police Commissioner’s court. The Commissioner must investigate the authenticity of the allegations and if found credible, charge the planners together with the assassins with attempted murder in a court of law. However, should the claims be proved false, Jakoyo and his informers must equally face the law.

A possible assassination of a prominent political figure like Raila Odinga must shock and get all Kenyans who still harbor the theory of a united country really worried and depressed. Even if it is a rumour, it will trigger memories of Kenya’s dark past in the last 49 years beginning with Pio Gama Pinto’s assassination at his doorsteps in 1965.

It will remind us of the demise of Argwings Kodhek on Kodhek Road in Hurlingham in what appeared like a road accident in January 1969,Tom Mboya’s assassination in broad daylight on Saturday July 5 1969 on Government Road in Nairobi just six months following Kodhek’s demise, the brutal murder of JM Kariuki whose mutilated body was discovered in Ngong Hills on March 5 1975 and another brutal murder of then foreign minister Robert Ouko in Got Alila near his Koru home in early 1990.

If we look at these killings, each one of them had a political theory attached to it; something that folklore has never forgotten even if historians may never have documented them.

Pio Gama Pinto died because he was believed to be Jaramogi Oginga Odinga’s foremost strategist and socialist ideologue. His elimination was believed to rob Jaramogi of a valuable ally in the post-independence struggle within the ruling party KANU. When Pinto was gunned down at his home just two years after independence, cracks had started to emerge in KANU between the socialists and capitalists. Jaramogi and Pinto preferred the former while Kenyatta and Mboya favoured the latter.

Four years later, Mboya had to die in the same manner Pinto did despite the fact that he had led the onslaught against Jaramogi before and after leaving KANU to form KPU.

It is instructive to note that Mboya, the only remaining prominent Luo in the Kenyatta cabinet was gunned down just six months before the 1969 elections which had been postponed from May 1968 to December 1969 for no apparent reason. He died because he was the most credible challenger to Kenyatta were the elections to be held in a fair, transparent and democratic manner. Planners of his death feared that should Kenyatta pass away suddenly, Tom Mboya would be unstoppable considering his unparalleled political campaign skills and popularity among Kenyans.

The murder of JM Kariuki debunked the myth that Kenyatta’s regime was merely targeting non- Kikuyus. JM’s death brought the reality home that the regime Kenyatta led had taken a life of its own. This new class of Kenyans did not differentiate between their own and others as long as one interfered with their new found wealth and power.

Kariuki had to die due to two things; he had become too popular with all Kenyans- being the only Kikuyu MP who travelled to Rusinga Island to bury Tom Mboya. More importantly he had become too vocal about the gap between the rich and the poor- often referring to Kenya as a nation of 11 millionaires against 11 million beggars. If Kariuki had challenged Kenyatta in the 1974 general elections, he would have won the elections by a landslide. He therefore had to die.

Perhaps the most perplexing murder was that of John Robert Ouko who at the time of his death was Kenya’s foremost foreign minister. He died just weeks after defending Kenya’s human rights records at Stockholm and Oslo in what many Kenyan exiles in the Scandinavia thought were blatant untruths about the true picture of the regime in Nairobi.

After his murder in Got Alila near his Koru home, theories abound about his closeness with Western powers that thought he would make a better president. It is these rumours that persisted so many years after his death.
Again, just like Pinto, Mboya and JM Kariuki before him, Kenyans believed state operatives had a hand in his inhumane murder.

Back to Midiwo’s allegations; who is bound to benefit from Raila Odinga’s death? Obviously what comes to mind are his foremost political opponents whether he dies a natural death or gets eliminated through an assassin’s bullet.

Just like Mboya and JM Kariuki before him, he is currently the man to beat at the next elections if opinion polls are anything to go by. Secondly, the mere fact that almost all political heavy weights , the so called G7 have ganged up to stop his presidency is proof enough that he is the single most popular politician today. Therefore any misfortune or hand of God getting him out of the way will be a relief to his opponents despite the fact that they will shed a few crocodile tears soon after his death.

Sam Ongeri is not running for president. He is therefore not a direct beneficiary of Raila’s death. If indeed he has anything to do with this heinious plan, it can only be on behalf of someone else? Does he have a motive, an axe to grind with the Prime Minister? I have no clue!