Sunday, January 30, 2011

Revealing portrait of Veep wipes away image of youthful promise

Folks, a belated Happy New Year! There are many good things happening this New Year, and our indefatigable Veep Kalonzo, also known as Wiper, has caught my attention.
It’s simply hard keeping track of the man: one moment he is sharing a cup of tea with a displaced woman somewhere in the Rift Valley, the next he is sharing a meal with South African Prezzo Zuma.
In the past two weeks, Wiper has been hopping from one plane to another, apparently lobbying other countries’ support in getting the Kenya case at the International Criminal Court deferred.
With his large contingent of Press corps and aides, Wiper’s team must be squandering a small fortune of public money on a totally meaningless endeavour.
Why, NGO activists, even without Okiya Okoiti Omtata chaining himself to the gate to Vigilance House, or Philo Ikonya walking in town in a sack cloth, are eloquent enough in their demand for accountability for those accused of fomenting post-poll anarchy.
But the huge wage-bill in Wiper’s shuttle diplomacy should be the least of Kenyans’ worries.
If William Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta are both indicted at the ICC, which could happen in under two months, then Wiper would be the last man standing in the curious outfit, KKK, the trio have formed, and which Lamu West MP Fahim Twaha thinks stands for Ku Klax Klan, the racist lobby that was blamed for countless black deaths in America’s South.
Twaha could be right, for the age of tribal pride and prejudice came and went in the last century. But the moment of revelation in Wiper’s unsuitability for high office came from his close snapshot as he enjoyed his cup of tea in the IDP camp.
Since cameras don’t lie, Wiper’s head is the centrepiece of his political indecision. From afar, the neat mass of well-oiled and styled hair oozes youth and machismo. At close range, camera lenses capture a hairless patch betraying age and denial.
Wiper, in his characteristic style, appears unable to decide whether to brush the hair to the front, back or sideways to bury the patch of nothingness. A more decisive man may have decided on a number of actions: clean shaving to disguise the receding hairline, as men do when their black hair turns from black to mourning grey, and ultimately white.
Another option, as the young generation prefer, is to wear dreadlocks and a hat for a more convenient cover.
For if Wiper has no idea what to do with his own hair, then he would have even lesser clues on what to do with 40 million Kenyans with fuller heads of hair.
Why Cyprian is counting on you for a miracle
You may not have heard of Cyprian Maragia Nyakundi or even St Joseph’s Nyabururu Primary School in Kisii. And you might not hear about them again for a long time to come.
Cyprian is not an orphan; his crippled father, following work-related burns, cannot fend for his family. So Cyprian eats and sleeps at a neighbour’s home, where he grazes, tethers and waters the benefactors’ family cow in exchange for room and board, after school hours.
In spite of these distractions, Cyprian scored 412 out of a possible 500 marks in last year’s national exam. Then in comes Equity Bank. They promise to sponsor three bright but poor graduates from Kisii.
But Cyprian’s former school master won’t sign his release because the lad had lost five books worth Sh2,000. Cyprian’s benefactor promptly pays up the sum and the school master’s signature is procured minutes before the Equity deadline.
But alas! Three other youngsters, all orphans, have been picked ahead of him, so he can sit on the waiting list and hope for a miracle to pay fees to the Maseno School, where he secured admission.
Cyprian is waiting for that miracle the sort that saw him triumph, against great odds. If any miraculous visitations are reported in a place near you, please give me a tinkle, or Cyprian’s benefactor, Thomas Kiriama, cellphone 0710783966.
Choosy beggars state their preferences
I have no idea whose bright idea it is to commit my tax and yours to defend criminal suspects at the International Criminal Court.
After all, any civil servant implicated in a criminal case is interdicted on half pay, until the matter is resolved. But I suppose I’m reading from the Old Constitution.
Moreover, there is legal aid for all suspects, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, so ICC must have legal counsel for those who cannot afford to hire lawyers.
Put another way, those suspects begging to use taxpayers’ money for legal aid are beggars who can afford to choose lawyers. After all, they have private money that’s more than adequate in seeking the private lawyers.
I sincerely sympathise with Joshua Sang, the only suspect without political money, and who is not even being considered for support by Government.
Then there is former Police Commish, Brigadier Hussein Ali, who ordered the mboys in blue to restore order, causing disorder in the process.

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