By Muli wa Kyendo
Everything that can be said about the embattled Cabinet Secretary for Planning and Devolution Anne Waiguru, has been said. But she has remained intransigent. Desperation has gripped every Kenyan – including President Uhuru Kenyatta’s very close allies and friends such as Tony Gachoka, styled as a Jubilee party activist.
Seeing Tony talk to Jeff Koinange in the Jeff Koinange KTN show tells you how desperate the situation is. From speaking in parables and riddles, the conversation has become blunt: Waiguru must go! If she doesn’t, Uhuru’ s government will fall with her. Some have likened her to the biblical deviant preacher Jonah coming to the biblical conclusion: “The bloat cannot sink because of her. It’s time to through her out!”
And Tony, who is apparently puzzled that his words have not moved Waiguru to quit, is willing to disclose what he knows as a “member of Uhuru’s kitchen cabinet” if it will shame Waiguru for things to move at the lofty ministry of planning and devolution. He is for example, willing to “disclose” that Uhuru wasn’t anxious to become Kenya’s President. He had, in deed, signed an agreement to support Musalia Mudavadi for the post.
These are details that don’t help – though they might – for a desperate man and desperate nation.
The Case against Waiguru
What is at issue is sheer plunder and theft of public money at the ministry where Anne Waiguru is in charge. Sh791 million – and more – has been looted. And even what is more annoying is to find that the ministry continues with its plunder unchecked. A simple biro pen can be bought for any amount of money – including a million shillings. And no one feels ashamed or remorseful when discovered. No one gets punished for such wanton excesses.
So the initial question was: What is Anne Waiguru doing about it this ceaseless corruption? And the answer was “Nothing!” So the unanimous verdict was made – Anne Waiguru she should go home. And if she can’t – and since she won’t – Kenyans are going for the person who gave her the job. That person is President Uhuru Kenyatta. By the same argument, if he doesn’t stop Anne Waiguru who has refused to stop runaway corruption in her ministry, Uhuru Kenyatta will be seen as incompetent. So the call to step aside will be shifted upwards to Uhuru. And that is the fear of Uhuru’s supporters, friends and all. Can he not see the danger? Or is he sleeping on the job?
Western Powers and ICC Lessons
Seeing how desperate Kenyans are, diplomats from western countries – who are Kenya’s most important development partners – have decided to assist by announcing that they will deny entry to their countries Kenyans implicated in corruption.
But that is also not likely to move President Uhuru Kenyatta. And worse, Kenyans seem to think they can handle the situation better on their own, obviously having seen the limit of Western powers in the International Criminal Court (ICC) case. Initially both Uhuru and Deputy President William Ruto and a host of others were accused. One by one, all of them – except for Ruto and Radio journalist Joshua Sang- were released. And worse, the unimaginable has happened: Supporters of Uhuru and Ruto have turned the ICC into a laughing stock even as the Western powers watch. Who will entrust their fate again to such lame ducks?
Corruption and Theatrics
So the valid question is: What are Kenyan’s going to do about it? Uhuru’s response was to appoint a commission to study and make recommendations on how to fight corruption in Kenya. Uhuru himself acknowledges corruption is escalating – and it is painting a very bad image of Kenya. His effort is obviously designed to buy time for Waiguru and possibly generate avenues away from her that can dissipate the heat.
Initial reaction is however that Kenya’s are not keen on theatrics. Their eyes are focused on the prize – getting Waiguru out of office. So far, their weapons are words. In Waiguru’s case, the words have yet to cut deep enough on the skins of either the President or Waiguru herself.
Or what should Kenyans do, if words don’t work?