Good boys too like being big men

Somebody predicted some time back that the African Big Man syndrome would go out of fashion when mtukufu Rais Moi retired. Well, he was wrong. True, when Emilio occupied the Big House on the Hill he did not follow the manual Mtukufu and Uhuru’s dad before him had used to shut up Kenyans with big mouths.

But that is only perhaps because Emilio is a good man (oh, alright, he uses the P word now and then, but an old is allowed to use the P word now and then). Alternatively, Emilio did not follow the manual because he did not find it, Mtukufu having taken it away with him to Kabarak as a memento or misplaced it as he hurriedly vacated to let his successor in.

But then everybody is not as good as Emilio. Look at our western neighbour for instance. Yoweri Museveni was the darling of our foreign masters because he said he will never be a Big Man. Of course he was leading them on because he is a Big Man. Of course he was leading them on because he is a Big Man now and Ugandans are not going to do a thing about it.

Abyssinian Meles Zenawi said he would be a good boy but good boys also like being Big Men and now he is one.

And of course you don’t want to hear about naughty old comrade Bob Mugabe. A little hanky panky with his beautiful secretary, the amazing Grace and before he knew it she was his wife. She asked him to allow her turn Zimbabwe into a banana republic which he did and now poor Zim is a real basket case.

Both Bob and Grace are very, very happy but the people of Zimbabwe are not happy anymore because old Bob is not only a banana farmer but has gone bananas, like all Big Men eventually do. He’s gone completely berserk and is breaking the bones of Zimbabweans with big mouths, like Morgan Tsvangirai’s. by the way have you noticed how much Thabo Mbeki of Azania has been fighting the temptation to become a Big Man? I don’t think South Africans want a banana republic. But you never know.

Sir Charles comes hurtling down

When the gods want to humble or destroy a mortal, a sage once philosophized, they first make him proud. When mtukufu Rais Moi was preparing the humbling of Sir Charles, the Duke of Kabeteshire, he puffed him up, made him think he was a co-president, pumped him up like a balloon and then prick! The Duke came hurtling down from the lofty firmament and, like Humpty Dumpty, he had a mighty great fall.

But, thank heavens, he found humility for only recently Mugane was espied at Uhuru Park, humbly seated among the holloi polloi, the wretched of the earth he once despised to watch a presidential function from the sidelines. Then he was seen the other day dancing Mugithi with the rabble, the commoners.

Oh, I know, I must sound like am gloating over the changed fortunes of Sir Charles. Well, may be I am, but I was also thinking about just how sorely scandalized Sir Charles must be by Uncle Mood’s prison reforms. When he was a mighty Attorney General he once famously said that prisons are not luxury hotels where criminals go to be pampered. Now, a wiser saying hath no other man uttered.

Uncle moody has no business turning jail houses into five star sojourns for criminals. They don’t even hang sadistic cop killers anymore because, in Maina Kiai’s parlance, they have human rights. Well, cops have human rights too, Maina Kiai. And so did old Saddam but the Iraqis hang him by the neck till he was dead.

Now go ye drink and drive!

Alcoblow will be brought back on our roads soon. Daudi Kyalo, the police traffic commandant says that the gizmo will be brought back whether alkies like it or not because it was made to be used on the roads. Agreed. It should be brought back and used on the roads otherwise there was no use of making it in the first place, was there?

Daudi has given Kenyan drivers who want to drink and drive a six month grace period during which they can drink-drive with abandon, kill themselves if they must and take with them any innocent poor sod in their drunken self annihilation. The gadget, if you recall, was withdrawn because it had been introduced by Chris Murungaru without giving those who imbibe time to adjust to the blasted thing being thrust in their faces for them to blow into. I think six months is the amount of time one needs to prepare for such a traumatic experience.

So the drinkers felt hard done by and went to court and told the judge that somebody had introduced a gadget to stop them drinking and driving which was a violation of their human rights. “You can’t do that” the judge said, surprised that somebody had even thought of doing such a thing. “People are allowed to drink in this country. In fact I drink a lot myself sometimes. If you recall, Mtukufu Rais Moi, when he was president, recommended that Kenyans should drink milk and since then I have drunk a lot of it.”

There is no law, he further observed, against drinking other stuff like juice or water, in fact it was quite healthy to do so.

“And did somebody tell you that you are not allowed to drive? Now, I have never heard of such arrant nonsense? I drive all the time myself, in fact, I even have a driving license. Now go ye drink and drive.” They went and drunk, drove and some killed themselves and others. But Alcoblow returns in six months.

The man and his car

When it comes to personal style and substance, Raila Amolo Odinga is second to none. First it was a glitzy wedding ceremony for his daughter where he imported a state of the art jaguar and gave to her as a wedding gift.

This time around, Raila has decided to give himself a present too. And what better can a man give himself than the latest edition of the coveted American motor vehicle Hummer? It is a car that is the preserve of the rich and famous even in the opulent west.

The price? Well, those in the know say it can be somewhere in the region of half a million US dollars, around Kshs 35 million upwards. (This figure has been disputed and new estimates value it at Kshs 7 million). That is no small money anywhere in the world, least of all Kenya. Raila later clarified that the hummer was a gift from friends of ODM in the USA to help ODM hammer Kibaki out of power.

But again, that may be mere pocket change for Raila, a man today reputed to have become one of the richest politicians in the country within a relatively short span of time….

And to think that his late father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and even Raila himself once upon a time toyed with the idea of communism and socialism… Hail the little pleasures of capitalism and free market and perish any thoughts to the contrary.

Kiruri Kamau

Bookmark the permalink.