By Francis Onyango K’Owuor
Entrenchment in political power causes the formation of a class, a cleavage and a network of powerful men and women ,Mafia style. That is why we talk of Kiambu Mafia, Mt.Kenya Mafia, Kalenjin Cartels, and even Dynasties. These are systems on their own.
Kenyatta had his Mafia around him. When he died and Moi took over power and resulted in the transfer of power from the likes of Mbiyu Koinange, Kihika Kimani , Njenga Karume ,etc to Nicholas Biwot, Kulei and Company. I remember very well entities like Lonhro East African and people like Mark Too and Cyrus Jirongo and how such entities were used to channel billions of shillings into private accounts.
When power changed hands in 2002 another Mafia came in .Including Lee Kinyanjui ,Muthaura, Kimemia, Matere Keriri and other golfers. But Kibaki did not take long enough to allow the full entrenchment of a Mafioso around him. In 2008 power sharing they had to make do with Luo Mafia of Keroli Omondi, Habert Ojwan’g, the late Fidel Odinga ,among others.
Mafia style of power entrenchment causes serious income inequalities and social injustice. Because these people get the most lucrative contracts ,and their friends and relatives get the best jobs. That is why the high concentration of these people in Kiambu, Muranga ,Bondo or other areas whose sons and daughters have enjoyed substantial power makes children of those areas four times more likely to succeed in life than children from other areas. To bridge this gap Democracy insists that power must never be concentrated in one hand for too long. The Status quo must always get shaken up.
Kalonzo Musyoka has been in power since 1989. As MP ,as Minister, Vice president and now as party leader. He has a mafia around him who pays homage to him. And these are probably old men who have stuck with him throughout his political career. This group must now be thrown out so that another group can come in. That is change by Orthodox but it remains change never the less. And if there is a surest benefit of revolutions, it is that they destabilize the Status quo. And that is why Revolutionaries create intense fear among rulers.
Alfred Mutua may actually be a puppet of Jubilee government. And so effective a puppet he is ( if he actually is ) that he is causing ripples in Kamba politics. He has coined some ideology ,whose benefits are tangible and resonate with the aspirations of the poor. When he bought ambulances, built a stadium and a park people said those were not priorities. Now he is connecting piped water to hundreds of homes. If these are public relations exercises then I need to learn PR at the feet of Mutua. His PR is classic.
May I opine that whether he succeeds in development or not, Kamba politics will not remain the same a gain.
Mutua is going to distabalize Kamba Mafia ( political elites ) and a younger group is going to emerge. Such political change will result in Social Change.
Politics is the greatest agent of Social Change.