By Dikembe Disembe
Even as Kenya marked the bicentennial celebrations to mark 50 years of independence, mainstream political rhetoric seemed inadequate to capture all the shenanigans of the last days of Moi in power.
Unlike Mwai Kibaki’s close premature departure in 2007, and which mandarins in the government sealed by rigging that election, Moi’s 2002 departure was anchored in the constitution. However, that did not stop calls to change the constitution to remove the term limits and allow Moi to continue indefinitely as the President.
Leading the chorus then is today’s minority leader, and Kitui’s West MP Francis Nyenze. At the dawn of the Rainbow, Nyenze, alongside such KANU stalwarts as Julius Sunkuli, Isaac Ruto, then cabinet ministers, lobbied for the constitution to be changed to extend Moi’s term, arguing that a “proper replacement acceptable to all tribes” had not been found.
Coast point-man Sharrif Nassir even went ahead to and started printing and distributing campaign T-shirts bearing Moi’s portrait. Sharif was a minister in the Office of the President while Nyenze was the Enironment minister.
While Sharrif passed away, his son, Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir,Â Â got back to parliament in the 2013 elections under the ODM banner; Nyenze too took ten years in the political cold during which Nyiva Mwendwa was elected under NARC in 2002 and she too lost to Charles Nyamai in 2007. This former KANU strongman would bounce back in 2013 under Wiper party, a coalition partner in the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy. Isaac Ruto, who also championed the extension of Moi rule, is the ‘outspoken’ Governor of Bomet County.
Reading through the political history of some of our top politicians, it easy to tell why Moi remarked KANU will rule for 100 years!
A sage once said, ‘the more things change, the more they remain the same’.