Moi woke up this morning feeling funny. At his Kabarnet Gardens home, there was errie silence. The bevy of workers, alwayls here for breakfast, had come in, but so far the usual exuberance from them was lacking. Even Moi's personal servant was strangely glum. His sunny disposition was gone.
Up above, the clouds were overcast, like there was going to be storm any minute now. The weaverbirds which had hit the sycamore branches with the sun's first peep, had gone back to their nests.
What was going on?
It was obvious something big was about to happen. In the past, Moi's workers had learnt to read his mood. In fact, ever since quitting the Presidency, he had been a man with a permanent smile ..... extraordinary gentleness ..... unimaginable magnanimity. That's the Moi these workers had become accustomed to - and loved.
But since the start of this week, they had sensed a shift in the man's mood. His smile had progressively become thinner. His look had turned harsher. And his comments, though still generous, crisp.
..... trouble ? .....
While they pondered what this turn of events meant, they did everything to get out of Moi's way. They remained in the deep background, giving the former Head of State time to sort out whatever the problem was.
..... but what could it be ? .....
That question was answered when Moi's driver reported for duty. He came in at 8:00 a.m. with a copy of the Daily Nation and the East African Standard.
In each of the two dailies, the leading story was the confirmation that Marianne Briner-Mattern was coming. Coming to testify. It was official.
The papers went on to explain that her much-anticipated visit would last no more than a couple of days, probably a week or two, and that she would shed needed light on some of the unresolved issues regarding the corrupt Moi's years.
The Daily Nation concluded by reporting that ..... If ever there was one witness who holds the key to this mystery, it is Marianne Briner-Mattern.....
..... Marianne Briner-Mattern? .....
..... The blonde Swiss lady? .....
..... Wasn't that the woman Moi ..... ?
The workers exchanged glances. Some of them who had been with Moi since his State House days remembered that name instantly. They knew her.
She was the woman they all at that time had loved so dearly because her presence had changed Moi. She had brought happiness into his life. With her he had again looked like a young man - a man being in love for the first time.
They had seen him invent the habit to wear a red rose in his botton-hole whenever they were attending functions together, smiling at each other sharing this secret - and how he had insisted to wear a pale yello rose whenever she was not there with him.
For her Moi had started to take more care about himself. He had a swimming-pool installed and a gym and followed the advises of his personal physician more carefully. He now also wore tailor-made elegant silk suits and beautiful ties which she brought for him from Switzerland.
They also remembered the woman's own young daughter who came on regular visits to Kenya to pass the school holidays with her mother.
She used to mix with the other children on the compound and even started to speak some Kiswahili. She loved to eat strawberries and Moi had arranged that they were brought in by plane from Israel whenever they could not be found in Kenya.
That was also the time, when Moi started to organize barbecue parties, grilling meat on the roast and even supervising it himself. The little girl loved to eat with her fingers saying that she wants to become a "true" African.
How proud Moi was to show her around. It was such a heartbreaking picture to see the tall man walking with the small girl at his hand - bending down to her and showing her patiently plants and flowers and teaching her the African names for it.
Something he had never done before with his own children.
But what they remembered most vividly was seeing them visit the cattle grazing outside the farm very early in the morning when the woman was still asleep. These animals had been brought in from Switzerland and the little girl proudly explained to him how they were kept in her country.
They obviously both enjoyed this changed position where she became the teacher and he pretended to learn from her.
It was then that she announced to everybody that one day she will become a Veterinary and live in Kenya to take care of all the animals in the country.
Moi had laughed at her and had promised that he always would be there to help her - if her mother allows him.
But with a cold shiver they also remembered the time when suddenly the woman had disappeared. They remembered Moi's deep anguish.
Nobody knew the reason why she had left. They had only been instructed By Nicholas Biwott and not by Moi himself, to ship all her personal belongings to Switzerland and to remove anything which could be a reminder of her and her daughter.
But Moi never really seemed to recover. For a long time after she had gone, they could see him sometimes standing outside - very early in the morning when most of them were still sleeping. A tall lonely figure, still watching the cattle but with an empty and sad look on his face.
And because of the torment her coming back now was obviously causing Moi again, they started now hating her for that.
But just like in the past, they knew Moi was going to prevail, like he had done over bigger, more intense battles. They counted on his proven capability to see him through also this time.
..... but would he ? .....
At 9:15 a.m., a black Range Rover, KAC 666, appeared at the southern gate. The guards quickly opened the gate to let it through. It drove up the stretch drinveway leading up to the mansion. The instant it parked, Nicholas Biwott came out.
He hurried to the door and vanished in a second. He walked straight to Moi's living room where the former Head of State was waiting.
"Thank you for coming," Moi said.
"I had to."
Moi invited Biwott to sit, "Look, I am going to meet Marianne in two days. Mutula has arranged everything. Now ..... I have heard rumours that you intend to be there also. I have called you here to inform you that you can't."
Biwott frowned, "Why not?"
..... because you are crazy ..... you are a moron ..... everything you touch explodes..... That's what Moi felt like saying. Instead, he said, "I would like to deal with this on my own."
"That woman is still a danger."
"I know that."
"Then you cannot meet her," Biwott crosses his short legs, "If you insist on seeing that woman, you have to let me also be present."
"Because I know her ..... I know how she things ..... how she regards me ..... and also you."
"How does she regard ..... you?"
"As a killer."
"You really don't want to know. All I can say is, it's not good for you to meet her. You may think that you will be able to persuade her to go soft on you. But I doubt that this will happen. She told Mutula that she is coming to talk. I believe her. I know her."
"So what can we do?" Moi asked.
Biwott's eyes narrowed. He had the old man just where he wanted him. His schemes still worked.
Then he said, "Let the meeting go on, but let me also be there. I will take care of her, knock down everything she may want to say."
"But you won't do anything ..... stupid?"
Biwott shook his head ..... stupid old man ....
Five minutes later, the southern gate opened again and Biwott was gone.
"Bozo, we have to change plans," Nick said. His imposing Range Rover had just hit the GilGil stretch, "Don't go after Marianne at the Airport. Let her come in."
"But we have planned everything with the others. Bad Boy has been camping out there for a daw now. Osiris is looking at a backup plan. You want us to throw that away? Don't you think, it is too late to adjust?"
Biwott lowered his tone, "Listen, Moi has managed to sequeeze in a meeting with that woman. I have just persuaded him to let me attend. I feel, it will be easier to freeze her quietly - in that meeting."
Bozo laughed, "Are you insane? You want to kille Marianne in Moi's presence? Do you care at all about the feelings of the Old Man - and what the world will think?"
"Then shoot her."
"At the meeting?"
"Of course not. I mean, like when she is walking in ..... or when she is leaving."
Bozo had just been getting up when Biwott called. The previous night, he had robbed two banks in the Industrial Area. So he was still tired. He rolled away the dusty blankets, rubbed his eyes, then said, "I?ll do it. But you will have to live with the consequencies."
Biwott felt queasy, "Are you afraid?"
"Of course not. It's just that I think that there is an easier, less risky way to do this."
"Remember what we tried at the Hotel Intercontinental in the eighties?"
"What do you mean?"
"Remember the way I parked near the entrance and waited until she same out of the hotel, then charged at her with a light-off car? Remember how that terrified her? In fact, had she not been with her lady-bodyguard - who shoved her away in time - I would have killed her already that night. That's how we should do it also now."
"But we don't know where she will be staying."
"That's easy to find out," Bozo said.
As Biwott's driver turned into a gas station to fill up, Biwott said, "Look, Bozo, I cannot take chances. That woman is the only one left who still has the story. If we kill her this time, I will never have anymore problems. Dr. Ouko's ghost will be put to rest forever."
Bozo laughed, "Dr. Ouko will get you in the underworld. He is just waiting for you. He was tall ..... you are small ..... he is going to whip your ass down there!"
Biwott cursed. He let a dry expletive fly. He hated when Bozo started talking like this. He said, "So you are sure, I killed him?"
"I was there, Nicholas. Do you remember? I personally handed you the gun. I know, you would prefer to believe my metal bar killed him, but I can still remember everything. It was your shot that flattened him. That's the truth, man."
"Fuck you, Bozo."
Bozo sneered, "Hold your fire, Hon. Nicholas K.A. Biwott. Let's just kill that woman. - And by the way, do they still call you 'Honourable'?"
At 10:00 a.m., the phone rang in Moi's house. He hurriedly picked up, "Hello?"
A voice said, "We have just intercepted the Hon. Nicholas Biwott's phone call. He plans to kill Marianne Briner-Mattern at the meeting." Click....