PRESIDENT Uhuru Kenyatta for the first time has spoken about his former Interior CS Joseph ole Lenku, describing him in an emotional meeting as as an “embarrassment” to his government and the country.
Kenyatta sacked Lenku on December 2 and replaced him with former Kajiado Central MP Joseph Nkaissery. Both men are Maasai.
The firing followed a series of terrorist attacks and insecurity since Lenku took over in 2013, the latest being massacres in Mandera county by al-Shabaab militia that claimed at least 64 lives.
At the same time, the President accepted the resignation of Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo, also widely criticised for security failures.
Kenyatta had some positive words about Kimaiyo when he departed, but he said nothing about Lenku who had lost the public’s confidence.
The President spoke candidly about Lenku on Monday when he met a delegation of mostly Maasai leaders from Kajiado at State House, Nairobi, to discuss the upcoming Kajiado byelection on March 16 to replace Nkaissery.
Those in attendance included Nkaissery, Jubilee chief Whip Katoo ole Metito, Kajiado East MP Peris Tobiko, Kajiado Senator Peter Mositet, Kajiado county Assembly Speaker John Osoi, Josiah Tarayia Kores, Kenya Meat Commission Chairman; politician,Solomon Kinyanjui, Kajiado Central aspirant Patrick Tutui (the Jubilee Alliance Party choice and several MCAs.
Uhuru, according to sources in the two-hour meeting, told Jubilee chief whip Katoo ole Metito; â€œI am very embarrassed with you. I never knew Joseph ole Lenku, you brought him to me and he caused embarrassment to the nation.â€
The President is reported to have said Lenku failed to perform and accused Metito of misleading him into hiring a person he knew was totally unsuited for the job.
Metito, a former Internal Security minister, is reported to have asked Uhuru to nominate Lenku to the position soon after elections in 2013. Lenku was nominated in May.
Yesterday neither Metito nor Lenku responded to calls and text messages seeking comment.
It is said Uhuru summoned the leaders to State House after they failed to agree on one candidate before the Jubilee Alliance Party nominated Patrick ole Tutui last week.
The President is also said to have told off Kores, chairman of the Kenya Meat Commission, for “letting me down”.
He was quoted by a source as saying: â€œYou are no better. You are taking me and the Jubilee Alliance for granted. I gave you a chopper in the last general election to use in the campaigns but you also caused the party to lose the Kajiado Central parliamentary seat and that of governor.
â€œI told you to step down for Peter Mositet so Mositet could run for governor’s seat so you could go for the senate seat, but you refused. I am being told you are bragging the Jubilee coalition is your personal property in Kajiado. I do not entertain such nonsense anymore, this party does not belong to you,” an angry Kenyatta is said to have told Kores.
The President is said to have taken on Kores after Solomon Kinyanjui, who also vied for the senate seat and lost in the last general election, stood up and accused the politician of high-handedness in running of party affairs in Kajiado.
Kinyanjui told the President that one of the difficulties of persuading people to join the Jubilee Alliance is people like Kores and others who are use the party as their personal property.
Earlier, Nkaissery had declined to attend the meeting until Purko MCA Samuel Kipaika was removed â€” the two men do not get along. After consulting Nkaissery, the President asked Kipaika to leave. Other MCAS attending the highly charged meeting included Josiah Toshi, Lesalaon Seki, Joseph Mutunkei and Ntintinyo ole Sere.
This story was published first by the Star