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Monday, November 05, 2007

Marianne (Kenya Betrayed)

Chapter 29

Chairman Sunguh went to his office this morning feeling good. The session with Mrs. Ouko had gone well the previous day. A throng of gratified Kenyans had called his office and commended him for handling the widow in a dignified way.

But this was another day. He had now idea what it was going to bring.

Deciding to start with optimism, he elected to get most of the negative stuff out of the way. In that regard, he placed a call to me. He told me that the Committee - after consulting with the CID - had voted to let Philipp accompany me. But that it was going to take a while to clear him.

Next, he called Moi's lawyer and warned him to be absolutely careful with the planned meeting between the former Head of State and me.

Once the negative was out of the way, he grabbed the Nation and perused it. He read about me ...... about my life in Kenya. As he was about to get done, he saw the paper's conclusion ..... If ever there was one witness who holds the key to this mystery, it is Marianne Briner-Mattern.....

Marianne Briner? .....

He spun on the swivel chair and pulled down a file. It was marked: Annexes No. 29. He took a look at the history of the company I together with Domenico Airaghi and Abraham Kiptanui had founded in the mid-eigthies. The BAK-Group - as the fledgling company became known - was used by the Moi Administration to secure mind-boggling amounts of money to put up projects in Kenya.

Delving deeper into this file, the Chairman was stunned by the number of projects that were proposed but never saw the light of the day. They included:

- Low-cost and medium-rent Housing Projects in Nairobi, Kisumu, Nakuru, Mombasa and other towns.

- Completion and Management of the stalled Kisumu Molasses Plant including a Housing Scheme for its workers

- 'Greater Nakuru' and 'Mzima Springs' Water Projects

- Food Storage Facilities in Nyanza Province

- a new Cement Factory near Kisumu with direct investment of the leading Italian Cement Producer

- a Fish-Filetting Plant near Lake Victoria

- Road Projects like Limuru-Naivasha

- Steel Factory (Rolling Mill) - direct investment by one of the world's biggest Industrial-Group

- Rehabilitation of Kenya Meat Commission and Uplands Pig Factory - including management

- Building of new slaughterhouses

And for all these projects, I had been able to only secure the financing, but had also attracted new big international Groups to come to Kenya willing to invest with their own capital and to enter into partnership with the Kenyan Government.

Sunguh's jaw dropped...... What? So Dr. Ouko - as the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation - was working on a lot more than the Molasses Plant? I wonder why the media and the Moi Administration have always portrayed the Molasses Plant as the 'Dr. Ouko Pet Project' ..... for somebody doing so much for his country, I find this quite insulting.

As he closed the file, a tear dropped. He realized something he had been unable to see all these years.

It hit him that had Dr. Ouko lived, and had he been allowed to see these projects through - with BAK Grou's help - Kenya would have been a very different place now. There would have been low-cost houses, clean water, better roads and a lot more. ..... what a shame! ..........

..... so Dr. Ouko meant to change Kenya? .....

..... so Marianne meant well? .....

Those thoughts flashed through the Chairman's mind as he got up. He started thinking very differently about me.

..... if that Swiss lady would have had her way, this nation would be a much better place today .....

..... because of what I know now, I will do everything to protect her.....

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