Wednesday, September 19, 2007
The Very Dirty Game Of Politics
This is a rather fascinating photograph taken in the late 60s shortly before the assassination of Tom Mboya.
The photograph tells a very long complex story. Let me start by introducing the “players” in this “game”. Far left is former president Daniel arap Moi, then Vice President. Next to him is Tom Mboya and the person next to Mboya who seems to be the one who has delivered the joke is one Mbiyu Koinange (grand father to former CNN correspondent Jeff Koinange—this photograph does not show the uncanny resemblance the two have, especially in their eyes and facial features). Far right is Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, founding father and the first president of Tanzania.
At the time this photograph was taken President Kenyatta’s kitchen cabinet were finalizing plans to sort out the “Mboya problem” once and for all. Mboya on the other hand had just completed a clinical operation that had wiped out Jaramogi Oginga Odinga from the political scene into oblivion and irrelevance. The efficiency with which it had been carried out caused the Kenyatta cabinet to fear TJ even more. The three major players in that kitchen cabinet were Mbiyu Koinange, Njoroge Mungai and Charles Njonjo. Mungai and Njonjo are still alive and enjoying life. An interesting aside here is that Mungai’s attention was drawn to the open letter written to him that was published in this blog and sources say he was very upset and indicated that he never wants to hear the name of the woman who wrote the open letter uttered in his presence ever again. Hardly the action of an innocent man falsely accused.
Also at around the time this photograph was taken, President Julius Nyerere had labeled Kenya “a man eat man society,” to which Kenyans cheekily replied that it was better than Tanzania which was a “man eat nothing society.”
But alas, looking at this photograph all the participants look like the best of friends, all delighted to see each other. Don’t they? All smiles and jokes when some had said nasty words about each other and when others were at that very moment plotting to murder those that they were cracking jokes with.
That’s the dirty game of politics for you.
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