President Kibaki: “I have only one wife”

President Kibaki made a rare show by holding a press conference to dispel rumours that he has a second wife or mistress. With the first lady Lucy Kibaki by his side, the president pleaded with the media to stop peddling what he termed as “uongo” (lies) about his involvement with another woman. He warned that anyone continuing to spread “such lies” would see him in court. After the president made his remarks the stunned members of the press seemed unable to ask any questions. Mrs. Kibaki then had a tearful outburst, calling out Paul Muite, among others. Yesterday Mr. Muite said that the government’s raid on the Standard three years ago was to prevent the newspaper from running a story about the president’s alleged second family. Mr. Muite has refused to either retract his comments or apologise to the first family.

wambui2_2The woman in the middle of the controversy is one Mary Wambui (left), popularly known as a “Narc-Kenya activist.” Ms. Wambui first came onto the national stage after president Kibaki’s election victory in 2002. Back then the media started to inquire about her relationship with the president when a 24 hour security detail was sent to her house.

I commend the president for his bravery on this matter. Whatever his involvement is/was with Ms. Wambui, I am glad that he came out and unequivocally denied that he had more than one wife. The first lady – and by extension the women of Kenya – deserve respect and the rumours about the president’s mistress have not helped that cause. I hope this denunciation of mistresses does not just end with the president but permeates across Kenyan society. I say it is time Kenyan men closed all those “nyumba ndogos”. Kenyan women deserve better.

getting to the bottom of the maize scandal

So it turns out that Ababu Namwamba’s sensational claim in parliament that first lady Lucy Kibaki was linked to a company that illegal traded in maize for Kenya’s starving millions was based on false documents. And the same is also true of Bonny Khalwale’s accusations of agriculture minister William Ruto. Whether this is the truth or not we may never know. Kenyan politicians have a going price and retractions of statements (true and otherwise) have been made before. And why accuse the first lady and a whole cabinet minister with false documents? Messrs Namwamba and Khalwale are not village idiots. They must have known what they were talking about. For now I shall remain skeptical of these retractions and say that where there is smoke there is fire. If Mr. Ruto wants to clear his name he should tell us who traded in the maize, it is his ministry after all. And if the president wants his wife’s name cleared he should also tell us the truth. Everyone high up in government must know who these thieves are.

Millions of Kenyans face starvation if they don’t get relief food and so it galls me when I read that people are stealing the same relief food and being allowed to get away with it. Since when did we come to accept that Kenyan lives – no matter how poor our citizens may be – are worth sacrificing so that an already filthy rich cabal of thieves can continue enriching themselves? Where is the anger in the media, in the church, on the streets and among the civil society? Do we realise what we are doing to ourselves? Kenyans are dying!!!

Does it cease to be a crime just because someone who speaks your language did it? Does it cease to be a crime when it is Kibaki and not Raila or Ruto and not Michuki or vise versa? I don’t think so.

We need the truth NOW.