Thursday, 2 January 2014

Pleasing everybody: Why Muthaura’s appointment is justified

Tribal loyalty will surely be the death of Kenya. If we are to believe what some young politicians in Jubilee coalition are postulating, President Uhuru Kenyatta will have to give about 5 top appointments per sub-tribe in Kenya to make these fellows happy. Never mind that there are innumerable sub-tribes among major tribal groupings and only a handful of key posts. OK, maybe they are not innumerable. We can count the sub-tribes but we cannot give appointments to each and every sub-tribe just because they are a part of Jubilee.

When indeed are we ever going to get reasonable? When are Kenyans going to abandon this stone-age thinking and just grow up? Take the appointment of Amb Francis Muthaura to head the LAPSSET project. I have had the pleasure of having a glimpse at Muthaura’s resume of achievements – it is mouth watering. Not just a civil servant, but an accomplished, high ranking civil servant with vast experience and outstanding credentials and proven service to the State for 40 years. Let’s face it; he is more than adequately capable of implementing the LAPSSET project and making it the visionary flagship project that will propel Kenya into becoming a middle income country.

I find it absolutely strange that such an ardent critic of this Jubilee government like me is forced to point out the sound logic behind appointing Francis Muthaura to sycophants who claim to be die hard supporters of Jubilee. But, sadly, this is what it has come to. The prevalent irrationality behind these people’s mentality is no longer aimed solely at the opposition but now, guns blazing, they attack their own leadership.

The most interesting thing is WHERE the attack on Muthaura’s appointment came from – MERU. That there were actually a handful of Meru politicians who were against the appointment of Muthaura to what is possibly the greatest infrastructural project in East Africa is just astonishing. Well, apparently, Muthaura is Meru, but not from the right kind of Meru. In other words, he is from a specific sub-tribe and this irks the other sub-tribes. Fortunately, some days later, the politicians decided to let that matter go and accept his appointment.

Meanwhile, in other parts of the country, politicians with far fewer expertise or credentials also received top appointments and these appointments were met with the same level of acrimony. To understand the situation better – We have political appointments going on across the country in various parastatals. In line with political reasoning, most of these appointments are merely figureheads – chairman of the board of this or the other authority and so on. Much of the contention on these appointments comes from within the very same coalition that is making the appointments. That a coalition is infighting is only the brink of the illogical battle going on within.

The first, absurd and totally irrational argument is that the President is appointing people who lost elections. Well of course he is! Because if you won the election that means you have an entire Constituency or County to run! You should be so busy that you don’t know if a day has 24hrs or 48! It makes absolutely no sense for someone who is already an MP somewhere to complain about running a government organization when his hands are already full running an entire constituency with various government organizations!

So why are some MPs making so much noise over these appointments? Well, in the case of Amb Muthaura, the problem they have is not just with his sub-tribe, but with the fact that Muthaura is indeed an efficient old codger. That’s right; the man is like an atomic clock; precise up to the last nano-second. It is no wonder that the President picked him to run LAPPSSET. Lamu Port and New Transport Corridor Development to Southern Sudan and Ethiopia (LAPSSET) includes:

 “… a new road network, a railway line, oil refinery at Lamu, oil pipeline, Isiolo and Lamu Airports and a free port at Lamu (Manda Bay) in addition to resort cities at the coast and in Isiolo. It will be the backbone for opening up Northern Kenya and integrating it into the national economy”

This is an awesome undertaking and involves 3 state governments, hundreds of suppliers, thousands of employees, and various ethnic communities; it is a vast project spanning several years and thousands of kilometers. Let us be honest, if there is anyone more qualified or suited than Francis Muthaura to head this project why have we never ever heard of this person before?

The truth behind all the complaints on Muthaura’s appointment in particular is the fact that with such a solid stable minded man at the helm, the flagrant plundering shameless sycophants had in mind will not happen. It’s that simple. That these hound dogs consider it a payment for their howling; to seize opportunity to run the government organizations and projects into the ground and leave the majority of Kenyans penniless and staring at the massive white elephants reminiscent of Moi Era embezzlement scams. I am tickled to no end by Muthaura’s appointment. It is a death knell to corrupt cartels.


  1. Leaving aside the politician's ridiculous tribal pettiness, I like the pinpoint clarity in this post.

  2. A balanced article but I wonder, was the author being ironic with that Meru reference? In an article about "tribal arithmetic" the authors "astonishment" is somewhat misleading.

    1. how so? isn't it astonishing that Meru politicians would be opposing an appointment of a Meru civil servant?
      - Betty

  3. To be honest, I did not like Muthaura's appointment because I thought there are other 'younger' professionals qualified for the job and that UK should have spared the man to go rest in his beautiful house surrounded by grandchildren but after reading this post, I get the sound logic behind it. A change of heart!