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Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Mt. Kenya Kibaki succession plan: secret meetings held to dupe and bribe

Uhuru Kenyatta's double-speak about his ambition to become Kenya's President after Kibaki is no surprise. Uhuru Kenyatta is the chosen heir in an elaborate plan by Mt. Kenya politicians to ensure that the Presidency stays with the community beyond 2022. A group of Mt. Kenya politicians have planned how Uhuru will take over the Presidency in 2012 whether or not Kibaki wins another term in December 2007.

Before PNU was formed, Kibaki had held a series of secret meetings with top leaders from Central Province to chart the way forward for the future of the Kikuyu Community after 2007. The meetings started as early as April 2007 when the Kibaki men realized that he had no credible party that could see him get re-elected. Purely Mt. Kenya outfits Narc-Kenya and DP were at the time pressuring him to adopt their ticket amid dissent from non-Kikuyu ministers.

Notably, while the politicians were of the impression that Kibaki should join either of the Mt. Kenya parties, Kibaki's golfing buddies now entrenched in government, parastatals and in Mt. Kenya owned TransCentury share-trading and acquisition company were busy working on a formula that would see Kibaki re-elected at the same time ensuring that the presidency remains with the Kikuyu beyond 2012.

Handwritten minutes of meetings show that the planners - the athuri group - are so secret that even members of the Ameru and Aembu are not included. The argument is that these communities will obviously support a Kikuyu come 2012 because they have no option. To this end, it was agreed that Kiraitu Murungi and David Mwiraria be returned to the cabinet to ensure "they are for ever grateful" and to win the loyalty of the Ameru. It came as no surprise that it was Lucy Kibaki who made hints of their return which was effected speedily. Minutes show the group nicknamed itself "athuri".

About the same time, the athuri secretive group comprising of Kibaki as chairman, Njenga Karume and John Michuki as alternate chairmen, Mary Wambui, Jimmy Kibaki, Judy Kibaki, Eddy Njoroge, George Muhoho, Stanley Murage, Nat Kangethe, Bishops Arthur Gitonga and George Gathii, and Cyrus Gituai (PS OP) were holding meetings with the retired president Moi's group of Nicholas Biwott, Ezekiel Bargetuny, Gideon Moi, Sila Yego and Uhuru to layout the post-Kibaki succession plan.

Ready to play ball as usual were Luhya leaders in the then GNU. A plot was hatched to have Ford-Kenya take the lead in the formation of PNU thereby hide the true intention of the Mt. Kenya boys. In one meeting it was agreed that Musikari Kombo was more pliable, weak and dumb enough to be used. That Kombo was weak on his Western Province turf after invasion by ODM was cited as reason enough for him to play errand boy without question. "Nyamu eno ahoyaga matigio. Reke tomuhe ihindi" (this animal worships leftovers. Let's give him a bone to chew), Kibaki is said of Kombo in reference to empty departments given to Kombo's cronies after he threw a tantrum following a post-referendum new cabinet in 2005.

Not surprisingly, in a recent tour of Western Province, Kibaki told Kombo and company including Moody Awori that he will include him in his cabinet. It was strange given that the president found it necessary to make this promise when all parties under PNU should automatically be in Cabinet after elections. Was this an attempt to stem some disquiet regarding the president's mean trick of short-changing partners? Was this reassurance to Kombo and meant to appease Luhya voters who have lost faith and trust that Kibaki, an introverted tribalist, can never honour a promise? Problem is, there is no party Kombo can use to negotiate for positions in the post-elections cabinet. This is because Ford-Kenya has been swallowed by PNU and is fielding no candidates!

Earlier, in the athuri meeting, it was also argued that Kombo's never-ending ambition to be "given" the vice presidency was a great enticement to have him play blind ball. His desperation for money was also used fully. No less a person than his nemesis Soita Shitanda of Malava has accused Kombo of being in PNU for the money. It is instructive that while all parties under PNU have their own candidates, only Ford-Kenya failed to field a single candidate of its own. The ECK register shows that all former Ford-Kenya MPs in Bungoma, including Kombo are running on PNU. It means that Ford-Kenya is finally dead.

That's how the equally quick-to-please Noah Wekesa was recruited to lead a façade of forming PNU while the backroom Muthaiga boys worked on a parallel plan. It is notable that immediately Wekesa thought he had clinched it with PANU, the Mt. Kenya boys took it over renamed it PNU and got busy swallowing all the other parties other than Kanu. Wekesa's cries of betrayal were to no avail. His boss Kombo, as usual was more interested in the cash handouts that comes with "horse trading" than protecting his sidekick or the interests of Ford-Kenya.

Back to the issue of the Kibaki succession, Uhuru finally agreed to join the Kibaki team but was given enough concessions as the heir-in-waiting: First, Kanu would field independent candidates but who will be funded by PNU to ensure Kanu becomes strong since PNU would disintegrate by 2009 and a win or lose by Kibaki would have prepared Uhuru to inherit the Mt. Kenya vote. Second, the bad blood between Uhuru and Moi over his association with ODM would be cleansed by the appointment as ministers of Gideon Moi, Nick Salat, Paul Sang and Nicholas Biwott in a Kibaki government. As it were only Paul Sang got the appointment earlier than after the elections. These appointment promises remain intact for after 2008 and are the reason Moi and company are campaigning hard for Kibaki in Rift Valley. Third, through such association with Moi's boys and should Kibaki lose, Kanu would have re-established a foothold in Central Kenya and the Rift Valley, and with Moi's support in the Rift Valley, Uhuru will be president and Gideon Moi the vice in 2012.

When it came to other communities and other competitors, the athuri prevailed upon Kibaki to abandon the ambitions of Awori, Kombo, Kituyi, Saitoti, Martha Karua and Kirwa as inconsequential. This was after Kibaki was presented with secret research evidence from Mutahi Ngunyi, who has since moved to State House. Mutahi reported that other than Karua, the pretenders to the throne would all loose their seats in the 2007 elections. Chipped in Karume in reference to Karua "Mwari wa muthambia kioro afataire kuihura/kuithambia mbere...." (The daughter of a toilet cleaner should wipe herself first!) – a derogatory reference to Kirinyaga people whom mainstream Kikuyu refer to as toilet cleaners. The slur was acquired in colonial times when the Kirinyaga dominated the city council cleansing department).

As for Saitoti, it was felt that he was an outsider who carried too much baggage from the Goldenberg scum. He was seen to be "disloyal" in his earlier announcement that he would vie against Kibaki in this year's elections. The Kiambu Muranga axis of the athuri felt that Saitoti ambitions for 2012 did not augur well for Uhuru. Michuki reported he had met Moi who has no time for his former VP, and that consideration of Saitoti would antagonize Moi whom Saitoti blamed for the Goldenberg theft.

To placate Moi, the athuri minutes report to Kibaki refers to " Gacamia/Gathakaria ga gukenia Moi" (or a sweetener to appease Mzee Moi). It has now emerged that the sweet for Moi is a plot to ensure Saitioti looses the Kajiado North parliamentary seat. It is with this hindsight the Saitoti is under siege from DP's Lee Kinyanjui and blames "someone" in PNU. And Saitoti is very uncomfortable at the moment with the Kibaki Group even going as far as claiming that PNU wants him to loose the Kajiado North seat. These fears are well founded as the athuri feel that Saitoti is an outsider in Central Province and therefore not the best bet for the Presidency even after Kibaki.

Part of their minutes show the athuri discussed ways of dealing with the imminent fallout with other communities in 2012. The Luhya as a community are dismissed as peaceful and would be grateful for anything. Kombo despite promises was ruled out as a running mate. Moody's influence in Western Province was found lucking and Kombo, Kituyi and Wekesa were seen to have succumbed to the ODM wave in the Province. " Manegere Mathagu ma guku na nimakurota kuubuka", (Give them some chicken wings and they will dream of flying), Michuki is quoted dismissing any worries about Luhya support for Kibaki.

The meeting thus decided that " Gutuma atongoria abaluhya mecirie nimakugia ufata munene kuri thirikari Kibaki ashinda'( to give the Luhya leaders the impression that they will be a major part of Kibaki's government if he wins). The emphasis was that these leaders should be made to work for Kibaki since their worth as vote-getters had diminished. This seems to be the "decoy" assurance Kibaki was promising on his recent tour.

When PNU was taken over, it was decided that Kibaki give other parties like Ford-Kenya and Ford-People, the illusion that they are part of PNU. Only Kombo took this bait and Ford-K is the only party that is headed to oblivion in the PNU. Secretly, Kikuyu parties like Safina, Narc-Kenya and DP were to be allowed to "revolt" and field candidates in their own names in the nominations. Kombo is being made to believe that he is a co-owner of PNU and therefore a future VP. However, in a telling game of juggling the liver ala Michuki, the athuri have argued that after elections, Ford-Kenya would be dead. The plot was to ensure Kombo got money to stand on PNU and let Ford-Kenya die. It is interesting that the ECK lists Kombo and his Bungoma cohorts as all standing on PNU!

Hence, the Kibaki athuri hatched a plot to keep all the non-Kikuyu members of PNU hopeful. However, the confidential athuri minutes show that after the elections and incase Kibaki wins, he will form an alliance with Kalonzo Musyoka as VP because Kibaki will only have Kikuyu MPs. The athuri also argue that most other provinces are already lost to ODM and there will be no need to reward "aragoli" (Mt. Kenya name for the Luhya) after they reject Kibaki.

According to Mutahi Ngunyi's brief, to boost turnout, all Kibaki needs to do is ensure large turnouts in Central where the "unattached voter" will be helped to vote. This is reference to double registration occasioned by national IDS numbers being shared by several voters and those also of dead voters given to other people. It is quite alarming that most cases termed "double registration" by the ECK are actually ID numbers of other voters outside Mt. Kenya and the dead ones now given Kikuyu names and allocated voters cards. The rigging ploy is that while the original holder of the legitimate ID number will be denied voting because of double registration, the imposter in Central Kenya will have voted.

While analyzing the situation in Rift Valley, the athuri considered the consequences of naming Kipruto Kirwa as Kibaki's running mate, an idea they said originated from a meeting former President Daniel Arap Moi had held with Narc-Kenya chairman Raphael Tuju in Nakuru in October. Moi had argued that promising Kirwa a running mate position to Kibaki (without intending to make him VP) would clip the ODM wave in Rift Valley. This, it is explained, would make Kalenjins vote for Kibaki since former Eldoret North MP William Ruto who is a member of the powerful ODM Pentagon is not Raila Odinga's running mate.

But Moi's suggestion was rejected as the athuri argued that it would be very difficult to dump Kirwa after the elections were he to be named the running mate. Mutahi argued that Uhuru's support from the Kalenjin in 2012 would be jeopardized as the Kalenjin would rebel again. " Dukayihie mbogo ithitio. Nitutihitie andu aya maita meri matikugueterera gutihio ka gatatu", warned Ngunyi, who is married to a Kalenjin, in his presentation. Loosely translated, it means "Never underrate a wounded Buffalo. We have wounded these chaps twice – using them in 2002 against Moi and firing them after for Moi's mistakes. They will not wait for a third wound". The athuri finally decided that the VP slot should be left vacant and dangled to all communities especially the Luhya and the Kalenjin to vote for Kibaki.

Apparently, while Kibaki needs Moi's help, the athuri acknowledge that Moi is a danger given the Kroll Report, which revealed that the former President and his family looted public coffers more than Kshs.130 billion. They have decided to restrict Moi to campaigns against ODM in Rift Valley where they believe corruption by Moi is not an issue. Yet some members in the group are cautious with this arrangement arguing that it may backfire and hurt Kibaki on the platform of Corruption. It is with this in mind that an anxious Moi, whose moles had leaked the reservations by the athuri to him, met Kibaki at State House Nakuru for 45 minutes on November 29, 2007.

Sources reveal that Moi wanted assurance that Kibaki would not renegade on a secret deal never to prosecute Moi and his family for crimes committed during his era. To secure protection Moi secured a free ride to Parliament for his sons and his private sectraty, John Lokorio in three constituencies on a Kanu ticket. Moi who had just arrived back from Ethiopia contributed Kshs3 billion to Kibaki's campaign kitty.

However, a clever Moi said the money will be used by him in Kibaki Tena campaigns in Rift Valley against Raila. Moi is now funding all the pro-Kibaki candidates in the province. It is also believed that it is from this money that leaflets against Raila are being produced and distributed in Rift Valley.

The more dastardly of the cash use is the funding of ethnic clashes in Molo. Kikuyu and Kalenjin youth are being paid to kill and burn houses belonging to Kisii migrant workers in the area in an attempt to cut down ODM votes in the native Kisii-Nyanza. The pro-Kibaki media have deliberately chosen to focus on source interviews and name-tag captions showing the Kisii as the victims. Yet this is not new. It is the third phase after the failure when government ignited ethnic flare-ups on the Kisii-Kalenjin border at Sondu mid this year as the ODM wave hit fever pitch in the country. The second phase failed where widows and orphans would be paid to parade themselves as victims of ethnic clashes in Kisii. It looks like Moi has now gone for the real ones by igniting the Kuresoi killings.

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