Tag Archives: Evans Kidero

Where Do I Count Myself?: An Open Letter

In response to a comment I made re: the article “Okemo, Gichuru Cost Taxpayers Billions in Loan Repayments”, someone in Mwaklishi accused me of “making it about myself” and being “a huge man with a big empty head”.

Another commenter asked me where I was when my “Godfather Raila Odinga” was “freecing (sic) Kenyans, with SCANDAL AFTER SCANDAL.” This same person then asked me to tell readers what I knew about a litany of scandals implicating the CORD Principal and/or those close to him.

The invectives and childish personal attacks aside, the one comment that drew my attention was the poignant “where do you (I) count myself?” presumably in the fight against the issues I repeatedly write about. The same commenter posed the question:

Why can’t you (I) lead these Kenyans crying foul to action?

Being in the public domain, I avoid exchanges that portend confrontation or abusive language. I will occasionally engage folks who seem to have genuine concerns/differences of opinion about something I have written but my rule of thumb is to avoid engaging angry, obnoxious and impolite folks.

I do agree with the sentiment that there is a certain level of repetition re: what I write about, a “cut-and-paste” hum-drum drone on the subjects of corruption and impunity in the (current) Government of Kenya. These topics CAN be dry and tedious unless you are wonkish.

Confession: I am a public policy/political science wonk my profession in biotech engineering and passion as an author notwithstanding.

It is with this knowledge that my mother’s caution continues to be my North Star whenever I put pen to paper:

Wuoda, ka iwacho adiera; kendo kiwache gi heshima gi dwond ma oluoro ji, kik iluor kendo kik ng’ato bwogi.

Loosely translated, my madhe was saying thus:

My son, if you are saying the truth using respectful language, don’t be afraid and don’t let anyone scare you.

So let me be as clear as possible:

  1. I am NOT interested in political office.
  2. I am NOT an investigative journalist i.e. “jicho pevu”.
  3. I WILL NOT repeat my position vis-à-vis Raila Odinga (or Gov. Kidero for that matter) because that is old news and available in the public domain for anyone interested.
  4. Finally, I won’t even deign to respond to the baseless and bovine charges that my writing peddles “tribal politics”, “tribal hate” or “tribalism”.

Now about “leading” individuals who share a common goal, in this case a Kenya free of wanton corruption, there are many ways one can do that.

I choose to “lead” using my writing (posted) on platforms the internet affords ANYONE. If and when I “cut and paste” any material, I almost always credit the source. I certainly don’t want to be accused of plagiarism especially being a contributor to a leading global aggregator of news. In writing about the proverbial “issues of the day”, I oftentimes give my readers some historical context re: the articles hence the sometimes pedantic nature of the pieces.

There are Kenyans in the diaspora who make significant contributions — monetary and non-monetary — to the country. They are also non-Kenyans with significant (vested) interests therein. Finally, thanks to the internet AND jet travel, the world has become a global marketplace of ideas and best practices. This being the case, I think of myself as a purveyor of perspectives on issues affecting a country — Kenya — the global audience including the “ignorant jungus” seem to care about.

The tinge of Schadenfreude some may detect in my writing is a function of the portmanteau “Kensanity” — “the country’s tendency of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” i.e. electing known kleptocrats and criminals into office then wringing their collective hands when these same people are implicated in one scandal after another.

I will end by paraphrasing Barack Obama and Mohandas Gandhi:

Don’t Complain: Publish YOUR riposte to my “cut-and-past” monotony and YOUR “interesting reading” re: the many scandals implicating Raila and those close to him – including Evans Kidero.

And finally, Yes You Can Be the Change You Want to See in Kenya.

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RECONCILE, I command thee!!

If you ever wondered why some Kenyans were baying “don’t be vague….” in the wake of the post-election violence of 2007 or why the country is considered a “failed state”, then the Evans Kidero-Rachel Shebesh saga is Exhibit A. The 3-month saga is symbolic of a judicial institution that appears completely malleable when confronted with cases involving powerful and well-connected personalities.

The governor of Nairobi Mr. Evans Kidero is caught on a September 6, 2013 video assaulting the Nairobi women’s representative Ms. Rachel Shebesh. The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mr. Keriako Tobiko, supposedly investigates, make that “peruses” the case files and eventually orders both the governor and the representative to be charged with assault and creating disturbance respectively. Fast-forward 2-3days after the DPP’s “order” and we have an entirely different “order”. This latest one has High Court Justice Isaac Lenaola blocking the public prosecutor from pursuing the charges against the two even as he (Mr. Lenaola) orders the warring parties to report back to him within 13 days!

Come again?
http://www.nation.co.ke/news/Kidero-Shebesh-charges-dpp-keriako-tobiko-court/-/1056/2133132/-/skm63n/-/index.html
http://www.nation.co.ke/news/DPP-Keriako-Tobiko-Evans-Kidero-Rachel-Shebesh/-/1056/2131064/-/2rlcikz/-/index.html
I am hoping that Mr. Lenaoloa’s ruling on the matter is within the purview of his docket which would then beg the larger question: Why did the DPP proceed with filing the case if he knew that a high court judge could block the case and offer a completely different remedy? For the record, I will come out and say that I will not be surprised if the judge acted outside the scope of his office.

The fact is Mr. Kidero and Ms. Shebesh both comported themselves in a manner unbecoming of persons in the public eye. It is one thing to protest against a ruling or policy one disagrees with as the latter was supposedly doing when she led aggrieved Nairobi City County workers to Dr. Kidero’s office where they proceeded to demand better pay. It is another thing to violate someone’s personal space, let alone assault them as Ms. Shebesh allegedly did when she “hit” the governor in the groin; an alleged assault that earned Mme. Rachel the “slap seen around the world” courtesy of Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim.
http://www.nation.co.ke/news/Kidero-you-slapped-me-cries-Shebesh/-/1056/1982610/-/4a1m39/-/index.html
So after a 3month investigation, the DPP orders Mr. Ndegwa Muhoro, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss, to proceed with charges against the 2 and in approximately seventy-two hours, the DPP’s investigation and order is trashed; reduced to a judge’s command that Ms. Shebesh and Dr. Kidero basically “kiss and make up”! It is this flippancy and pliability of Kenya’s legal system when it comes to dealing with cases involving powerful and well-connected personalities that prompted the country’s legislatures (MPs) and a majority of the public (at the time) to call for the current president and his deputy to be tried at The Hague instead of at Milimani for allegedly organizing and financing the PEV-2007. It is also this bipolar characteristic of Kenya’s judicial process that makes some of us, me included, push for external oversight in high profile cases even as we/I acknowledge that the country does indeed have the legal brains to try said cases. Sadly though, Kenya, indeed Kenyans do not appear to have the political will/courage to compel their institutions to hold accountable the likes of Kidero and Shebesh and if necessary, the president and his deputy.

I would argue that had the altercation between the governor and the representative not made it to the DPP’s office for further investigation, then maybe the judge’s order for the two to reconcile would have been appropriate. The problem for all involved was the pesky YouTube video that captured the incident; a video that has already been viewed over 330,000 times on the Nation TV (NTV) website while the closest rival video titled “Married women turn to Prostitution” has under 198,000 views! Put another way, Mr. Kidero was seen (?), definitely heard slapping Ms. Shebesh; who for her part was heard (?) exclaiming “Kidero you slapped me?” Compounding the video evidence of the “personal challenge” facing the two combatants, the governor in particular, was the location of the pam (Luo for slap). Mr. Kidero is seen slapping Ms. Shebesh outside his office in City Hall! Talk about workplace violence!

With Mr. Isaac Lenaola’s decision ordering Mr. Kidero and Ms. Shebesh to reconcile, the comedy of error that is the Kenyan judicial process against the high and mighty takes yet another hit even though the ruling may be within the prerogative of a high court judge.
Oy Vei!!

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