Friday, February 12, 2010

Honorable Dishonor: Why the Prime Minister is eating his Words

Raila Odinga yesterday stumbled on his words in a lame attempt to justify his reluctance to act on corrupt officers in his office. In what came across as blatant double standard and armature cover up, the Prime Minister was unable to make a commitment as to when he expected Dr. Isahakia and Mr. Omondi, implicated by PWC in the Maize Scandal Report, will go home. The comedy in a media conference reminded me of the adage, a frog protects its mud. At a time when Raila has been enjoying national support and confidence, this will not only be a test of political tact but of integrity and honor. Judging from his actions yesterday, the Right Honorable is behaving dishonorably.

The Prime Minister has in the recent past been vocal against Prof Sam Ongeri and Prof Karega Mutahi over an approximate KSh 100 million said to have been embezzled from the Ministry of Education. Mr. Odinga has dared the President to sack the officials stating that, “Investigations start by suspecting everybody then by way of elimination the culprits are found.” He even added that he would not protect his wife or brother if implicated in any shady deals.

The proof of the pudding is in its tasting. Yesterday, Raila served Kenyans stale pudding and am smirking from the nauseating taste as I write this. I defending his inaction against two of his officers, he stated, “I had initially said public officers step aside when investigations are being carried out. In this case, the investigations are already complete.” That statement was his vote of no confidence on the intelligence of Kenyans. The politician most trusted by Kenyans has taken us for complete idiots. The insult was aggravated when he announced the formation of a ‘technical’ team to advise the government on how to handle the recommendations of the report. Is he serious! If the members of this committee will be volunteers then I agree, but if they will cost us more of our tax money then the idea reeks of bull poopie!

I cannot pretend that this matter is as grey as we are led, no misled, to believe. In fact it is white and black. If you are suspected of corrupt dealing, step aside and once investigations find you not culpable, you shall be reinstated. To be fair, I think the Prime Minister is agreeable on this. The point of contention for him is whether the investigations into the maize scandal are complete or not. He holds that they have been completed and on that point his officers are saved from resignation.

I regret that the Prime Minister has not had the opportunity to read the document presented to his office by PWC. I would like to bring to his attention that the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) has re-opened investigations on the matter as recommended by PWC. That is the technicality that requires Dr. Isahakia and Mr. Omondi to pack their bags and take a vacation until the commission finds them spotless. And in any case, how were the investigations now said to be completed conducted with the officers in office? They should at least be interdicted for going against their boss’ policy of resignation during investigation. That is insubordination.

Let me be clear that I have no ill or favorable motives against Ongeri, Karega, Isahakia or Omondi. They can all go or all stay. I have a problem with the pretence and hypocrisy of the Prime Minister in demanding the resignation of some and not others. I would like to state that Ongeri and Karega are responsible for losing KSh 100 million. Isahakia and Omondi on the other hand are accused of stealing billions together with others not mentioned. Ongeri and Karega lost moneys meant for education. Not a basic need. Isahakia and Omondi played with maize. Food. A basic commodity. The jury of common sense finds them guilty of a greater sin.

Mr. Odinga has a great opportunity to prove that he is not a bag of hot air flying partisan flags. If he was to start his charity at home, he would seal his reputation as a man of his words and not a witch hunter as he is beginning to come across as. He is fortunate that it is not his brother or his wife that he has to take action against. That would have been tricky. But the two officers in question are in my imagination Pones in his political chess game. But maybe they are Rooks, or Bishops, or Knights. Does it matter? All pieces, including the Queen, are worth sacrificing to save the King. Otherwise the game is lost.

It is your turn to act honorably, Right Honorable. You preached water, don’t get caught with the wine glass. Check!

The Tin Man

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