kenya’s silent revolution

One of the hallmarks of (true) revolutions is that they consume their originators. The totality of revolutions is unmistakable. Maximilien Robespierre learned this the hard way 5 years after the French Revolution. Kenya’s political elite are beginning to learn this sooner. The new constitution is beginning to claim its political victims one by one. That almost all members of Kenya’s political class are neck high in corruption is not a secret. The only question is how many of them will be caught by the dragnet of the new dispensation.

William Ruto, Henry Kosgey and Moses Wetangula are the biggest casualties, yet, of the new constitution. Finance Minister Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta might soon become a victim if events at the Hague go according to Mr. Ocampo’s plan. Water Minister Hon. Charity Ngilu may be next.

This is clearly a transition moment. And transitions tend to be dangerously shaky. My only hope is that the flame of change ignited by the new constitution will not consume the pith even as it consumes the dead branches of the tree that is Kenya.

The last thing we want is a political system in which de facto power is in the hands of economically shallow political entrepreneurs. The present day winds of change should not completely disenfranchise those with economic power. Political power divorced from economic power lasts as long as dew in the Kalahari. To preserve the new system the present day ethnic chiefs and princes should not loose out completely.

Kenya is not coup proof yet in its history. Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand, Turkey, among others, have experienced coups at comparatively more advanced levels of economic development.

kosgey resigns

Tinderet MP and Minister of Industrialization Henry Kosgey has resigned. Mr. Kosgey is being charged with 12 counts of abuse of office and faces a maximum of 120 years in prison if convicted. In the latest case of fraud linked to the Minister, vehicles older than 8 years old were illegally imported into the country under his direction.

Only a few weeks ago Mr. Kosgey was among five prominent Kenyan politicians and a radio host named as suspects by the ICC prosecutor Luis Ocampo in relation to the post election violence in Kenya (2007-08) that killed 1300 and displaced 300,000.

Mr. Kosgey is Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s pointman in the Rift Valley and is the current chairman of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

More on this here.