Yesterday, some Luhya political celebrities converged in the Wanga Kingdom of Mumias to take a photo with a 1B cheque handed over to them by the President of Kenya. This money, we were told, was as a result of the State House meeting those celebrities attended two days ago, and hammered the bailout deal. We were told not to play politics, despite the fact that strong words were used against the opposition during that meeting.
Let’s put the facts on the table.
Who unlocked the 1B bailout? On March 11, 2015 – more than 3 months ago – the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Felix Kosgey, appeared before the Senate Committee on Agriculture to answer some questions on Mumias Sugar Company, and why it was going down under government’s watch. It was revealed to the Kenyan public, by the CS, that the reason GoK has been lukewarm in it’s resuscitation plan was because the government had only a 20% stake in the company. Private Members, we were told, owned 80% of the company’s shares and were supposed to take an active role in the company’s fortunes.
But the most important concerns, that Luhyia political celebrities would rather want you ignore, was put to the table by Meru Senator, Kiraitu Murungi. The straight-talking Harvard-trained lawyer asked some very unsettling questions:
Kiraitu Murungi: “We were also involved, as government, in trying to revive Webuye Paper Mills, we sank in money there, and thereafter it was closed again. Don’t we run a risk of losing this other 1B of taxpayers’ money that you want to put into this sinking ship (Mumias). What guarantees do we have that if we put in the 1B, this company is going to float?”
A visibly disturbed CS Koskei, part-rocking his chair, part looking at the ceiling, stammered a response: “The government will provide 1B shillings as an immediate injection that will be recovered through a Rights Issue. The Rights issue will be issued for shareholders to participate and also to bring money for the recovery process and turnaround, and therefore we have taken care of government losing money”
That story, done by NTV’s Zainab Wandati, can be found online at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bj11iO2Ynrw
Since March, that very important source of clarification has only been viewed 228 times. But yesterday, when protocol was broken to let Ababu Namwamba speak after the Kakamega Governor, during that celebrities parade, the internet was broken by pro-opposition loyalists calling for the Budalang’i MP’s head.
You know, the Holy Book is always right, that my people perish for lack of knowledge. Uhuru Kenyatta needed not go to Mumias to handover a 1B dummy cheque, which was going to be repaid anyway. It’s like asking HELB for a University Loan and then being summoned to Anniversary Towers to kneel before the CEO – in front of the cameras, making promises that I shall work with HELB day and night, and never question any stinking rot in the money lender’s cabinet, promising to repay as soon as I start making my first shilling.
Poverty is so dehumanising, it relegates government policy makers to the level of tinpot beggars, forcing primary school kids to parade in the scorching sun on an empty stomach waving at a passing motorcade singing for a loan not even enough to clean the chimneys of my late grandmother’s grass thatched kitchen.
If the begging bowl is the gold standard of Luhya Unity, we’d rather have Uhuru Kenyatta rule this country for a million years.