Monday, January 7, 2008

From government spokesman to PNU factotum: how Alfred Mutua is failing Kenya

I was saddened to watch Dr. Alfred Nganga Mutua conducting a press conference this weekend on Al Jazeera. In misinformed panache, Mutua reminded the world that Kibaki "brought" democracy to Kenya. I did not know whether to cry or laugh, because the same Kibaki who "brought" democracy to Kenya is the very same one now suppressing it at all costs. He has openly rigged himself back to power and given his police men a "shoot to kill" order on anyone opposing his rule, an act that has seen more than 350 Kenyans lose their life because they do not want him in power. The same Kibaki who "brought" democracy is the very same one who has ordered all radio and TV stations closed, for almost a week now, because he does not want Kenyans to know that he is in power illegally; the same Kibaki who had himself sworn in "in the bedroom" in a highly suspect ceremony where the National Anthem was not played as required by the constitution; the same Kibaki who now, in typical arrogance, is inviting the real winner of the election to join his government of national unity with him (Kibaki) as the head!

Kibaki's record speaks for itself. Where was he when Kenyans were dying in droves, opposing the Moi regime? Where was Kibaki when other Kenyans were being detained without trial? I'll tell you where he was: while Odinga, Matiba, Raila, Rubia and the rest were fighting Moi, Kibaki was saying in parliament that proponents of change were trying to "cut a Mugumo tree with a razor blade." And lest we forget, it was Kibaki who seconded the amendment of Section 2A of the Constitution, making Kenya a de facto one party state. Now he has gone one step further and made it a Police State.

What Dr. Mutua is forgetting is that he is a servant of Kenyans, not Kibaki's personal lackey. It is very inappropriate and quite saddening to see him coming on air and propagating PNU and Kibaki's personal views, telling the world half-baked truths and defending the indefensible. Coming from a media background, what does he have to say about the government's terrible record on media freedom? It is laughable for him to now tell us that the opposition is "arming" militias to distabilise the government.

It is time government officials realised that their real employers are the people of Kenya, and divorce party affiliations from their work. It is for reasons such as these that Kenyans overwhelmingly voted for change on 27th December 2007, a change which they are being denied by Kibaki's usurpation of power, and they are not even being allowed to protest. Some democracy Kibaki has "brought" us...

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