We Have Come To The End: Now What?
On November 10 2015, Kenyans shuddered when it was announced that President Uhuru Kenyatta had met Daniel Moi and Nicholas Biwott. Daniel Moi is very happy with the fact that Uhuru Kenyatta is the President because he (Moi) faces the same problem that the Kenyattas have faced for decades and will continue to face, holding on to irregularly acquired wealth after exiting power. When Moi came to power, he touched none of Kenyatta’s wealth. He therefore, rightly, extrapolated that a Kenyatta would touch nothing belonging to the Mois. In fact, that is the only reason a desperate Moi, in spite of loud and unprecedented dissent within his KANU party, chose a greenhorn Kenyatta to succeed him in 2002.
However, the Kenyattas are making progress in converting their wealth into modern corporates that go beyond the initial bounty they inherited. Lacking the business acumen of the Kenyatta clan, Moi’s sons, who are quite undisciplined and spoilt, will struggle to hold on to the wealth once the old Moi dies. Brought up by a father who was too busy and a mother who was under quarantine, the Moi son were left to presidential guards to discipline them. That gave people like Biwott opportunity to use Moi’s sons for their business deals. Biwott used them to convince companies about his close relationship with the President. At one of these meetings held in Milan, Italy, in 1989 in the presence of Dr. Ouko and other Ministers Biwott introduced Philipp Moi and told the companies that they only had to give $ 50,000 to Philipp and the father (President Moi) would sign any contract they wanted. It is possible the old Moi will even outlast Kibaki, his successor, because the Moi clan dies at ripe old age. Its Biwott who might have problems adjusting to years outside power. Biwott, more so than Moi, was addicted to power. They say that power is even more addictive than drugs and more corruptive than money.
1990 was an important turning point for Daniel Moi and Kenya. In the aftermath of the murder of the Foreign Minister, donors who financed a significant chunk of the budget pulled out. In one swoop, Government officials lost their cash cows. Since the 1980s, corrupt Moi lieutenants had made their fortunes by hiving cash off donor funded projects. Now that the taps had dried, they had to create another cash cow. Enter Kamlesh Pattni and George Saitoti. Within one year, Goldenberg was created. So for the Daniel Moi and his cronies, the money continued flowing. For the ordinary Mwananchi, things got worse. Beginning 1990, that is when most industries in Kenya begun collapsing. By the time President Kibaki took over in 2003, the economy was growing in negative numbers, meaning it was shrinking.
Which brings us to Kibaki. Despite working as Moi’s deputy for 10 years, he will probably go down in history as Kenya’s best President. His legacy is clear and undisputable. Even though Kenya nearly broke down under his watch, he was able to steady the ship and leave office in honor. These days, he has been relegated a notch below Moi by President Uhuru Kenyatta, who cherishes the counsel of Daniel Moi more than that of Kibaki. Every few months, President Kenyatta plays host to Moi or vice versa.
No ruler in Kenya’s short history was more predisposed to using violence than Daniel Moi. He carried an ivory rungu everywhere he went. The rungu would be an apt symbol for Moi’s rule. There is no problem Moi could not solve using violence or the threat of violence. Rather than cultivate respect, he rode power through sheer fear. So how did Kibaki avoid Moi’s folly. Even though Kibaki was Moi’s deputy in the 1980s, he was clearly an outsider. Once he became President, Kibaki made a clean break from Moi. This was easy for him because all his close allies like Kijana Wamalwa, Charity Ngilu, David Mwiraria, Martha Karua, Dr. Christopher Murungaru and Kiraitu Murungi were sworn Moi enemies. In fact, but for himself, the inner core of the first Kibaki’s government had never been part of KANU. However, slowly KANU elements warmed their way back into government. Not surprisingly, KANU cliques have made a total comeback under the Kenyatta government.
It is not lost on observers that unlike Moi, Kibaki did not publicly anoint a successor. This is because Kibaki just didn’t care who succeeded him. Why? Kibaki had nothing to fear after his presidency. Unlike Moi who had accumulated and stashed away huge booty and had committed other prosecutable crimes, Kibaki had done none of that. His wealth is just the amount you would expect of a top honcho who had been in Government since 1963. And even if some of his lieutenants had committed crimes, Kibaki himself knew he was safe. His main concern in his final days was to leave the Country in safe hands.
In the process of researching for this story, I noticed something with Nicholas Biwott, his Wikipedia page is just as detailed as that of Daniel Moi. In fact, no other former Minister or current minister has a Wikipedia page that is as detailed as that of Biwott. The fishiest thing is that the Ouko murder is extensively discussed in a way that completely exonerates Biwott. There are also many other websites like KenyaUnsolved.com that again, completely absolve Biwott of any wrong doing. These and many other websites have been planted all over the internet to give a false narrative about what happened in those dark days.
In 2013, it was reported that Makueni Senator, Mutula Kilonzo, had died of a mysterious condition. It has never been revealed what the condition was. Let me share an interesting anecdote about Mutula Kilonzo. The combative lawyer was Moi’s private lawyer for a long time. Because of his dealing with Moi, he got a lot of wealth. Equally, he got access to a lot of personal information about Moi. In 2004, Marriane Briner shared a lot of information with the lawyer regarding Moi, information outside Mutula’s brief as a lawyer to Moi. According to Marianne Briner, Mutula told her, “Although, I am perceived merely as Moi’s lawyer, I am proud to know and say that I carry no one’s bag, not even Moi’s.’ Another Moi insider who recently died a controversial death was one time Vice President, Prof. George Saitoti, who as Minister for Internal Security, died in a plane crash (controversial again). He was Minister for finance in 1990. He was privy to deals done by Moi and Biwott. After his death, most of the investigation focused on his fight against drug abuse. The investigators missed an obvious link.
Now, this is the end of this long story. The one name that has appeared more times apart from that of Daniel Moi and Dr. Ouko is that of Nicholas Biwott. A man’s character can be so dark that it might appear that he does no good. But I think from the investigation, I have learnt one good thing about Biwott; he delivered. Even if only his companies won tenders, at least they delivered. For instance, the seven forks dams were built by his companies. That is Moi probably kept him to the end. He is one person who begun with Moi in 1979 and who saw the end of the regime in 2002. The story might also leave an impression that Biwott was only using Moi. This is untrue. Moi was also using Biwott. For all his mastery of politics, Moi is a business dwarf; he therefore used Biwott who is a clever man to help him accumulate wealth. Also, Biwott helped Moi carry out many development projects, which Moi could not have been able to do on his own. At least you know what kept Biwott close to the source of power for so long.
Even to this day, Dr. Ouko’s skull is still lying at St. Thomas hospital in London, because the case is still open. Some of the main witnesses who were not killed died of natural causes. Selina Were died in 2012 at the age of 68.
The Story stops here, but surely we cannot call this the End. Someone should write a less depressing end to this story. We shall wait.
Credit: All the evidence referred to in this story was sourced from the Gor Sunguh Parliamentary Committee Report, it is for the purpose of unveiling the truth that parliaments exists.
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Paul K Njuru is a resident political history writer in addition to being the editor and publisher of Rasqoh.com. He maintains a Facebook Here and a tweets Here.