Tag Archives: Ndegwa Muhoro

Yet Another Round of Unresolved Political Deaths In Kenya – RIP George Muchai & Philip Godana.

The list of Kenyans who have disappeared, died under mysterious circumstances or assassinated is endless. It also contains some of the country’s most prominent and promising names and spans the country’s post-independence existence:

Pio Gama Pinto (1965), Argwings Kodhek (1969), Tom Mboya (1969), Ronald Ngala (1972), JM Kariuki (1975), Kungu Karumba (1975?), Jean-Marie Seroney (1982), Bishop Alexander Kipsang Muge (1990), Robert Ouko (1990), Mugabe Were (2008), George Saitoi and Orwa Ojode (2012), Mutula Kalonzo (2013), George Thuo (2013), Albert Muriuki (2013), Dickson Bogonko Bosire (2013).

We can now add Mr. George Muchai, the MP for Kabete cut down by a hail of bullets, to that macabre list. And like they did in the past, the country’s leaders, this time President Uhuru Kenyatta, vowed “to leave no stone unturned” in bringing the perpetrators “of this heinous crime to justice”. Mr. Kenyatta went on to claim even before any arrests were made, that George Muchai was killed because of his war against corruption:

“(W)e cannot allow a few people to continue with corruption and impunity. Even if we will leave all to God to do his will, there are times when anger overwhelms you.”

Taking their cue from their party boss, Mr. Kazungu Kambi, the Cabinet Secretary of Labor, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and his Thika Town counterpart Alice Ng’ang’a all echoed the president’s very sentiment that they know “…the people who plotted the killing of.…George Muchai….” even as investigations were still on-going!

Less than one week after the professional hit on Mr. Muchai, “robbers” broke into the Syokimau resident of former Moyale MP Philip Godana and shot him dead as well. In a more measured and less speculative reaction to Mr. Godana’s death, Tuka Jirmo, the late MP’s cousin cautioned that the family “will not speculate the reason for the killing but ask the police to be thorough with the investigations.”

It was a reaction more measured and reflective than the one that followed Mr. Muchai’s death: reactions from Mr. Kenyatta, his CS for Labor and other politicians in the ruling coalition that prompted the leader of the National Assembly Justin Muturi to ask “leaders to use caution” when making statements on Mr. Muchai’s untimely death.

Line up the presidential, ministerial and lawmakers’ claims, all unsubstantiated, alongside the reality on the ground: That of the rather speedy and seemingly convenient arrest of “all the suspects…in the killing of Kabete MP George Muchai and his three aides…” including “recovery of the weapons used in the incident…” and I hope readers can forgive my cynicism and skepticism, my well-documented incessant criticism of the Kenyatta government notwithstanding.

What is happening in Kenya as illustrated by the rampant violence and unresolved killings not to mention corruption at the highest level of the government is downright scary. The fact that government officials and prominent personalities continue to die under mysterious circumstances or through assassination on a regular basis is extremely disturbing.

Equally terrifying is the impunity with which the country’s leaders have used the very organs of national security and law enforcement as tools against their political opponents!  That the subsequent investigations on these deaths and murders are led by the same institutions and people – CID’s Ndegwa Muhoro in the case of Mr. Muchai – controlled by those with a near-diabolical desire to stay in power should send chills through the collective spines of all Kenyans.

Maybe it is my “shallow and naïve diasporan lens” or sadness at the lack of justice for the families of the afflicted, myself included, but doesn’t it bother WanaKenya Halisi that it now appears that the country has embraced murder as the one sure way of (a) settling differences and (b) maintaining their preferred candidate’s hold on power?

In a narrative that has become as Kenyan as “eating chicken”, the country has continued to rationalize, indeed accept the inept investigations, abrupt and summarily disbanding of blue, red, white or other hued ribbonned commissions and/or the subsequent mothballing of their finding apres presentation of the reports to the president(s). Kenyans routinely point out that “all is well because the country has not fallen into a state of anarchy just as the US did not devolve into chaos after the assassinations of JFK, MLK or the attempt on Ronald Reagan’s life!” They are equally hasty in urging one another to “accept (fill in the blank) and move on” after every national tragedy.

Given the rash of unresolved deaths and extra-judicial killings laying siege on the country, could Kenya, a country that wears its many religions on its collective sleeves be bearing witness to the (religious) teachings that “those who live by the sword also perish by the sword?”

Finally, is the country inching closer to a failed state where the regular killings of people — big and small — is greeted with the ho-hum of a society that has multiple centers of power – hence multiple proprietors of the basic instruments of power – weapons of death?

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Filed under Daniel Arap Moi, Disappearances in Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya, Political Assassinations in Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta

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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