Photo: DP Ruto and David Murathe, Jubilee deputy party leader and vice chairman respectively.
During his stint as the Minister for Home Affairs, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga was once out of the country when the Ministry of Defense leaked information to the press of an impending seizure of an illegal cache of arms in the basement of his office. Reporters hurriedly gathered around the Ministry of Home Affairs to cover the event.
There had been claims that Jaramogi was smuggling illicit communist arms, transporting them using Prison’s Department vans, and storing them in the basement of the building where M. of Home Affairs was headquartered.
Curiously, Jomo Kenyatta knew that the arms were in the country under his decree and that the shipment was consigned to his office. It didn’t, however, bother him to issue official communique from his office to dispel these well-fanned rumors.
This lent credence to Jaramogi’s suspicions that Jomo Kenyatta was at the epicenter of his woes. British Newspapers began their slanderous campaigns against Jaramogi on account of being a Communist stooge.
But if there has been a man of conscience in the history of Kenyan politics, then it was Jaramogi
In 1962, during the London Constitutional Conference, Jomo Kenyatta delisted the name of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga as the Finance Minister from the ministerial list, after the colonial office vetoed his appointment. Jomo didn’t consult Jaramogi. It was Oneko, who was the Secretary to Jomo while behind the grills in Kapenguria then, that informed Jaramogi of the move.
Jaramogi, on the other hand, didn’t get upset because he believed that the lure of office was not the reason for joining the struggle for independence. Later, during his stint at the helm of Ministry of Home Affairs, numerous but critical departments in his docket were transferred to the Office of the Prime Minister, and technically clipping him.
Jomo appointed Murumbi as the acting PM in his absence. Further in 1964, while at the Airport to receive Arthur Bottomley, he was pulled aside and informed, without consultation, that Malcolm MacDonald would be the High Commissioner despite being the Governor-General in the colonial gov’t.
It was a unilateral decision made by a cabal of ministers around Jomo without an iota of input from Jaramogi.
And to send a warning shot to Jaramogi, Pio Gama Pinto, who had set up a joint press center and Lumumba Institute for the KANU Party, was shot on 24th February 1965 in the stomach, profusely bled and died in his car, and in the presence of his 1-year-old daughter seated at the back.
Pio was again labeled a double agent of the communists, working at the behest of both China and Russia, and who had killed him. Invoking communism was in one way or the other, pulling Jaramogi into the picture.
To add salt to the raw injury, on 16th May 1965, the Kenyan security team seized a convoy of lorries carrying Chinese arms (read communist arms), that were consigned to Uganda. Due to bad weather and impassable roads in the western part of L. Victoria, the convoy was diverted to Kisii, less than 20 km where Jaramogi Oginga Odinga was addressing a rally.
They used this to claim it was JOO’s arms meant to depose Kenyatta senior. The Kenyan Government confiscated the arms, which were heading to Congo for the rebel forces, yet the shipment bound to Uganda through Kenya was brought to the knowledge of the Government.
But because Jaramogi Oginga Odinga was a dignified man, he couldn’t stomach these humiliations anymore. He resigned from the position of the Vice President and this is the letter he wrote to Jomo Kenyatta:
“I have a conscience and it pricks me when I earn public money but with no job to do. I consider this a waste of public money and I am worried, lest the future generation questions my sincerity when they would learn that I allowed myself to hold a sinecure post in the midst of poverty and misery in our country. With this realization, I cannot continue to hold this position any longer.”
60 years down the line and William finds himself in the same historical spot. But if he thinks he is a man of conscience and piety, he should be genuine enough to resign from a government that he claims to frustrate him, yet, he is part of it.
With his portfolio as the Deputy President having been watered down drastically, he technically has nothing to do as a DP and should save the hustler nation the taxes they pay to fund his office.
Since he is not a man of conscience and, he who would rather lick the ass of his boss publicly and send his henchmen to hit him while enjoying the trappings of power, privileges, and emoluments that accompany the Office of the Deputy President.
By Manaseh Nyainda via Facebook