Sunday Reading: This man Fred Matiang’i

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By Blamuel Njururi, Kenya Confidential Editor-in-Chief, Nairobi – June 17, 2018

Section heads in Kenya Bureau of Standards, Anti-Counterfeit Agency, Kenya Revenue Authority, National Intelligence and Ports police directly linked to killer and counterfeit merchandise importation clearance must go home.

May I confess that I don’t know the man called Fred Matiang’i. The nearest I have encountered him or heard him speaking is 5 metres on my TV screens. His actions however, speak louder than words and affect my country and me directly and indirectly, immediately and on long term basis.

The immediate effect is that the killer sugar, cooking oil and other foodstuffs I seasonally buy from Eastleigh wholesale dealers labeled Kabras Sugar or imported from Mauritius and the Far East will no longer be on display. The long term is that the scarce national coffers will be replenished when proper custom duties are paid and local industries products sold without unfair competition from counterfeit products.

As the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Matiang’i burst open the multi-million-shilling EXAM-CHEATING cartels that were rampant when many of those seeking leadership in Kenya were in charge of education and they did nothing – a notable example is Kalonzo Musyoka.

In his early years Kalonzo worked with one of the most notorious corruption haven, customs department at the port of Mombasa, where he witnessed naked bribery but cannot be remembered taking any remedial action when he had a chance in government climbing to be the second in charge as President Mwai Kibaki’s Vice President.

As Minister for Education in 1998 he told striking teachers that “As a result of changed economic situation, we are simply unable to pay teachers and their demands were unsustainable. In 2015 as opposition Raila Odinga running mate his considered position was that the Government should obey court orders as pay striking teachers – no matter the prevailing economic situation.

A Facebook social media contributor says Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana spent his first term in political hell courtesy of Kalonzo and former Senator Johnstone Muthama. He is now changing the lives of people of Makueni after literally going on his knees to praise Kalonzo and to deflect his backward leadership, which saw no tangible development over 30 years of the dual were Kamba leaders.

At one point Kibwana publicly praised Kalonzo as clean without corruption blemishes despite the fact that he extracted the first 50 acres of National Youth Service land from the Moi regime and acquired more for self-aggrandizement at the expense of youths all over Kenya. He also partnered with Musalia Mudavadi using Access Insurance firm to buy land cheap and resell it to EPZ project.

Stopping Exam Cheating means students will achieve academic accolades as per ability and not what their parents pay for in secondary schools and University graduates will not pass exams depending on the money they pay for their thesis and the lecturers they sleep with. My grand children will struggle through education like I did without buying favours.

It also means the country will have responsible citizens expected to render public services without seeking shortcuts in life – which promote corruption. The country will benefit from a devoted public service driven by the desire to serve not to be served.

As you read this Matiang’i has now burst open the massive multi-billion-shilling poisoning of Kenyan population syndicates by CREEDY idiots repackaging KILLER sugar and other products, which many interior ministers did not see – including William Ruto. He also had a stint as Minister for Higher Education.

Matiang’i did not stumble upon a new Merchants of Death syndicate by accident. Those rackets have been there since Daniel arap Moi era but those who could have stopped then were compromised with millions of shillings that Matiang’i did not consider worth his reputation or sacrifice to poison fellow Kenya citizens.

As the Cabinet secretary points out the Death Merchants are just that – Death Merchants who will not think twice about killing those who block what they consider their lucrative way of doing business. They buy EXPIRED and poison-laded food products they know should be dumped in deed oceans and they repack them for Kenyans to consume. They bribe their way through customs department, Kenya Revenue Authority officers and transport their KILLER cargo through police roadblocks to desired destinations. The money offered blinds police.

If any questions are raised, those seeking answers get them in mint-fresh currency notes that zip their lips and blind them from seeing bold lettering on bags reading “NOT FOR Sale”. Indeed, the killer foods are not offered for sale until they are repackaged in attractive plastic bags as Kenyan produce.

Clearly brown sugar to the naked eye is packed as “Supreme White” Kabras Sugar Factory product. The massive imports of poisonous and adulterated sugar must have played a major role to foment current local sugar industry problems as managers were paid to sabotage cane production and factory operations by the death merchants.

The packaging materials are manufactured by Kenyans who know they do not belong to local Sugar Factories and what they will contain is not Kenyan sugar. They are paid to manufacture packets to distribute poison that can very well end up in tea consumed by their own families. They too must be prosecuted for their complicity.

Many other counterfeit products on the Kenyan market are reported to Kenya Bureau fo Standards and Counterfeit body almost on a daily basis but nothing is done other than taking of bribes  from those accused. Section heads in Kenya Bureau of Standards, Anti-Counterfeit Agency, Kenya Revenue Authority, National Intelligence and ports police directly linked to killer and counterfeit merchandise importation clearance must go home. They must be getting regular commission to look the other way as such products flood the Kenyan market.

Last year I reported damage caused by Oilibya Quest 2T coolant oil added to one-stroke engines that ruined my generator to Kenya Bureau of Standards. Two KEBS staffers came over, looked at ruined machine, took no samples, went to Oil Libya and that was the end of the matter.  I never got a feed back from KEBS. I suffered the loss of my generator without compensation. Many Boda Boda operators have lost their business after motor bikes were damaged by the same Quest 2T coolant. Similar damage may be caused to the Police Service Traffic unit and Presidential Escort outriders should Oil Libya win a  government tender and its product is used.

Electricity consumers are also incurring loses from Philips bulbs labeled as products from India that burst frequently. I reported the matter to KEBS, they promised to share a report of their findings but never did. The public institution intended to protect consumers decided to go to bed with the offending business cartels and switched off the lights on the matter.

In succession politics during his first assignment as Cabinet Minister for Home Affairs towards the end of Moi regime, Ruto acquired a piece of land along Jogoo Road where he built Easton Apartments. That piece of land used to belong to the home affairs Prisons department hosting rehabilitation centre for ex-convicts. It is reported it has changed hands back to the Ministry of Interior for a handsome sum of money recently to house police officers.

The Nation Media Group today reported Ruto has acquired majority stake in a daily newspaper among numerous vernacular radio stations to maximize his presidential campaign for 2022. That newspaper is most likely to be the scandalous tabloid The Star. His other recent acquisition are reportedly in iconic Hotel Boulevard and Hotel 680 Hotel, both part of Sentrim Group of hotels.

Ruto served as the Acting President of Kenya between 5 and 8 October 2014 while President Uhuru Kenyatta was away at The Hague. His political party URP dissolved to form the Jubilee Party of Kenya. Previously Ruto was appointed to the position of Assistant Minister in the Office of the President, by President Daniel arap Moi in 1998. He was promoted to be Minister for Home Affairs in August 2002. To many Ruto is an ambitious politician who literally edged Moi out of the coveted seat of absolute Kalenjin leader as calved himself a comfortable chieftain throne that Moi’s son Gideon dreads.

When choosing a President in future Kenyans should settle on ACTION-oriented person NOT Political sweet talkers and those seeking power for the sake of it. Kenyans are learning what leadership is about and why their country has lagged behind because of greed for money and poor leadership. Corruption has frustrated all efforts to meaningful development and prosperity in Kenya. President Uhuru has sworn by the Almighty God that corruption will end in Kenya. He needs all Kenyans support in the massively compromising battle.

Matiang’i is showing Kenyans that organised criminal syndicates, that drive corruption, can be dismantled to create better institutional governance. But he too along with former Attorney General Githu Muigai and Lands Commission officials are under scrutiny by the Director of Public Prosecutions over purchase queries of the controversy-ridden Ruaraka school. That is what checks and balances are about.

The choice of President Uhuru’s successor will CRYSTALIZE over the next four years. It will NOT be decided by a few Jubilee sycophants screaming themselves hoarse after hefty kickbacks and thinking Kenyans will for ever be taken for granted or bribed during elections – especially with ongoing war on corruption – which will be a game-changer.

Ruto’s presidential bid will be dogged by two key issues, which are 1. Ethnicity and 2. Integrity. More than all previous elections the 2007 Presidential election will arouse the ugly head of ethnic politics with his opponents capitalising on the political fact Kikuyu and Kalenjin tribesmen as Presidents have ruled that since independence Kenya.

The founding father Jomo Kenyatta, a Kikuyu, passed the button to Moi, a Kalenjin. Moi passed the button to Mwai Kibaki, a Kikuyu who passed the button to fellow Kikuyu Uhuru Kenyatta. Ruto will find himself in daisy position of ethnic animosity very common during Kenya elections.

In 2013, the Kibaki cabinet was convinced that Kenyans would not elect another Kikuyu to succeed a Kikuyu. Indeed, that was the reason Kibaki kitchen cabinet had settled for Musalia Mudavadi reasoning that he would be a better bet to deal with than Raila Odinga as president.

It took courage for Uhuru to stand laden with a heavy burden of his International Criminal Court charges, which turned out to be a political asset rather than liability after teaming up with Ruto. The dual’s campaign was sympathy-driven and largely lacking in criminal and 2008 post election violence human rights violations considerations in the minds of majority of voters. Ethnicity however, remained a major issue and the Kikuyu and Kalenjin supported the dual.

The second issue of integrity that will dog Ruto hinges on claims and counter-claims that he has over the years accumulated wealth beyond any other hustler in Kenya in a manner shrouded with corruption allegations he survives almost scott free. Already some Ruto supporters have said the anti-corruption wave sweeping through government institutions is aimed at the Deputy President.

President Uhuru has, however said even he himself with be subjected to lifestyle scrutiny as will be Ruto and all other senior government officers. The president explained that those in public offices will explain the sources of their wealth. This may be tricky for a hustler who claims the started off by selling chicken.

There are those who consider Ruto as ruthless politician when it comes to acquisition of wealth only comparable to the late self-proclaimed total man Nicholas Biwott that few would dare to stand in his way. But all said and done many politicians fully understand Ruto will not be a push-over. However, 2022 is a long haul run to come.

Ruto is bound by his integrity oath he swore when he was nominated by Jubilee to be Uhuru’s running mate not to be caught off side on matters integrity. If he has played the roughshod he will have himself to blame and nobody else. It will be his cross to carry, not Kalenjins.

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