By Wanyeki Kago
Lately, in view of the various public jobs appointments, that are skewed in favour of my people from Mt. Kenya region, I have been entertaining random private thoughts that president Uhuru Kenyatta could either be captive to a shameless cabal of Kikuyu suprimacists or is a closet dyed-in-the-wool Mt. Kenya supremacist himself, hiding behind a clever facade of nationalism.
For a country currently spending 10b of taxpayer’s shillings on some old farts, curiously christened Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), to daily hop from one County to another, yawn, belch and ask disinterested idlers why they are not united, through ethnic inclusiveness, it is the height of political hypocrisy and betrayal of public trust, to time and time again, in the recent past, entertain appointments into government from only the presidents’s community or backyard. This is recklessness that runs counter to what the country is wasting money on.
James Githii Mburu, the new Commissioner General of KRA, could be a very experienced tax man with an impressive CV, but there are issues surrounding his appointment that curiously seem predetermined.
First, he is an alleged relative of the outgoing Commissioner General, John Njiraini. Activist Okiya Omtata had foreseen this two years ago when the position of Commissioner of Intelligence and Strategic Operations was created, by Njiraini in 2017 and Mburu appointed to head it. (Granted, he has done a superb job). Omtata had argued, that the elevation of James Mburu was meant to shore up his CV for eventual takeover from Njiraini. It has come to pass. The applications, interviews, shortlisting and eventual appointment was just for show.
The Opus Dei adherent, Patrick Njoroge, should have given way to another Kenyan at Central Bank. Some of the stringent policies he has pursued at CBK, have ended up stifling credit for small businesses, with banks remaining very cautious to lend to SMEs. This has stagnated horizontal economic growth hurting the ordinary folks at the bottom of the food chain.
Perhaps, even with experience and institutional memory Patrick Njoroge should have considered donning a cassock and retire as a Catholic hermit of his beloved Opus Dei Order, dedicating his life to the poor. There are other competent Kenyans from the lakes, the plains, the coastal ream and the valleys of this great Republic. Kenya should not be stranded on the mountain.
It’s not that I hate President Uhuru Kenyatta I love this country more. I have been his most ardent supporter since 2002. Lately I feel he has betrayed my trust. He seems to mind only those around his inner circle and his family. The rest of us are nobodies, washenzi, gîko (hehe, lubbish?)
Before anyone defends him, remember his slay queen niece is CEO of KICC, a position she would not be in had she been a peasant’s daughter from Shamakhokho. She was recently stopped, by the National Assembly, from using sh.1.5b of taxpayer’s money to construct some prefabricated offices outside KICC without following the requisite process.
Remember too, that Uhuru’s septuagenarian first cousin, Beth Mugo, was nominated to the Senate to just massage her creaking bones on the warm seats. Her brief, it seems, is to speak only when her cousin is under political sieke.
It’s high time we got a new definition of nepotism. We need not go into how the Kenyatta family’s fortune has expanded exponentially since 2013. We may never recover from the depression we may relapse into from our current economic malaise. May be we need someone to just point out that Kenya is not a truncation of the name Kenyatta?
Uhuru Kenyatta may not leave much of a legacy to write home about. However his one and only legacy may just be the suspicion, hate and profiling of his Mt. Kenya people, by the rest of Kenya, as untrustworthy, thievish and innately selfish.
If you are from Mt. Kenya and it’s diaspora, every time you hear the political sneering of “nyinyi Wakikuyu mnajipenda,” just know who let out the dogs on you. But may be Mûthamaki could be the greatest statesman since Alexander the Great. I could just be a bitter gakûnia working for and with the enemies of Rûrîrî.