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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Kenyan Presidency Was Not Supposed To Cross River Chania, But God...

"I can already see myself inspecting a guard of honor."

Those were the words of a man who never became president but deeply desired to become the occupant of State House. They were confidently spoken in the mid seventies as President Kenyatta's health detiorated as he drifted in and out of frequent comas. The man who spoke those words is still alive today and his name is Njoroge Mungai. The medical doctor who was so ambitious that legend has it that he one day asked the aging president to declare him heir apparent, was also a nephew to founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.

In any event by the time Kenyatta died in 1978, peacefully in his sleep, it looked like nothing could stop another Kiambu Kikuyu ascending to the presidency and that is exactly how the authoritative Time magazine analyzed it. Even when Moi took over in n acting capacity, most analysts agreed he was simply a passing cloud.

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In fact in the mid 70s an oath had been taken amongst those close to president Kenyatta declaring that the presidency would never cross River Chania. Crossing River Chania would mean that the presidency would pass on to a kikuyu from Nyeri.

Then things started happening. Charles Njonjo, himself highly ambitious and after the presidency played his political cards well and red-carded the powerful Njoroge Mingai to political oblivion. Njonjo himself was later red-carded by Moi's kitchen cabinet led by the likes of Nicholas Biwott. The other powerful figure, Mbiyu Koinange died shortly after President Kenyatta died.

But even stranger was the fact that Kenyatta happened to die on one of the very few evenings when Mbiyu Koinange was NOT at his side. He had traveled to Nairobi a few hours before the president's death to take care of family business.

The Presidency actually crossed the River Chania in December 2002 when Mwai Kibaki was elected.

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