Typical of Kenyan politicians, Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo is sowing seeds of confusion in a vain attempt at winning popularity. Mutula’s history, however, suggests that he has little empathy for ordinary people.
Professionalism in Kenya is fast declining, and nowhere is this more evident than in the Grand Coalition Cabinet. The principles of confidentiality and collective responsibility have been thrown out the window as each individual seeks to advance their own interests.
All over the world, cabinet bodies are supposed to exhibit unity to the public regardless of the actual situation in private. This is because a divided cabinet signifies a divided government. A divided government can never deliver anything tangible to the people. In Kenya, though, the lack of professionalism means that cabinet ministers tear into each other in public without caring how it affects the government’s public image. This is causing unnecessary confusion as regards the true government position on anything important.
Mutula Kilonzo has become the latest agent of chaos, opposing a government decision made at a cabinet meeting which he attended. Mutula is currently championing the formation of a Special Tribunal to prosecute those who planned and participated in the 2008 post election violence. His change in stance came after the cabinet decided to adopt a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) in order to avoid prosecuting anyone.
By adopting the TJRC route, the cabinet wanted to appease those within its ranks implicated in planning and funding the mayhem that resulted in over 1,300 deaths and half a million homeless. Among those linked to the violence are Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Agriculture Minister William Ruto, Tourism Minister Najib Balala and Culture Minister William ole Ntimama. Faced with a choice between establishing a Special Tribunal or taking the suspects to the International Criminal Court at The Hague, the Cabinet opted on Truth and Reconciliation in exchange for confession.
As a professional, Mutula should have voiced his reservations during the 6 hours that the Cabinet took to decide on TJRC. Instead, he is now playing to the public gallery in a pathetic attempt at winning public popularity. Perhaps he is hoping to emulate his predecessor at the Justice Ministry, Martha Karua, who resigned after falling out with President Mwai Kibaki. However, while Karua has been a consistent defender of human rights and democracy, the same cannot be said of Mutula.
Mutula was the blue-eyed boy of former President Daniel arap Moi and made billions of shillings in corrupt deals that cost the country massive amounts of money. Today, Mutula is among the richest people in Kenya. According to the Kumekucha website, Mutula was introduced to Moi in the 1980s by former Machakos KANU leader, the late Mulu Mutisya.
Mutisya is said to have heaped praises about Mutula’s exemplary ability to argue for his clients and his loyalty to Moi’s KANU party. The rest is history, Mutula became one of the president’s many lawyers and in the process got some of the most lucrative briefs including the NSSF (National Social Security Fund) where Kilonzo is known to have made Sh 900 million from the Fund in two deals. Towards the end of Moi’s tenure in office, Mutula was nominated to parliament by KANU.
A philanderer and notorious womanizer, Mutula’s amorous escapades are legendary as he is known to prefer women of light skin ranging from as young as 16 years. The man is now 62.
During President Mwai Kibaki’s first tenure of office, Mutula joined Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto in aligning KANU with the Raila Odinga faction of Kibaki’s NARC party. Together, they campaigned against Kibaki during the 2005 Referendum on a proposed new constitution. This marked the beginnings of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).
In 2007, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto fell out after Moi shifted his support to President Kibaki. Uhuru joined Kibaki’s side while Mutula Kilonzo stuck with Ruto and Raila. Later on, ODM split into the Raila Odinga and the Kalonzo Musyoka factions. Mutula shifted to the Kalonzo Musyoka side as Ruto continued supporting Raila. By some strange fate, all these personalities are now in government.
Due to Mutula’s allegiance to Kalonzo Musyoka (they are both from the Kamba ethnic group), his opposition to the Cabinet’s stand on TJRC has been interpreted as an attempt to eliminate Kalonzo’s rivals in the 2012 Presidential race. If Mutula’s wish for a Special Tribunal were to become a reality, then Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto will be eliminated as presidential candidates as they will be busy fighting criminal prosecution for the 2008 post election violence. Prime Minister Raila Odinga, having lost the support of William Ruto, Ntimama and Balala, will be in a weakened state. Infact, Ruto has vowed to bring down Raila should he be taken either before a Special Tribunal or to The Hague. That will leave Kalonzo at an optimal position to walk into State House.
Of course, Mutula has denied the allegations. He told the Standard newspaper that his determination to establish a Special Tribunal of international standards was not politically motivated. “That is laughable,” said the Mbooni MP, “I am a firm believer that reforms cannot be tied to an individual or any political party. Individuals come and go but the country will be there forever. Why would I want to cut my cloth just to suit 2012?”
“I am not going to make any amendments to these Bills and I can repeat this a thousand times. The Cabinet has a right to reject them but I will have no apologies. I have offered what is good for this country,” emphasized Mutula.
Good for the country? Coming from Mutula, that sounds like a sick joke.
Filed under: Analysis, News | Tagged: international criminal court, kenya, Mbooni, mutula kilonzo, nairobi, ODM, post election violence, special tribunal, truth justice and reconciliation commission | 4 Comments »