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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 2 November 2014


Our Senior Reporter

The latest wave of pro-State House sycophancy and increasing “government praise-singing” across the country is the work of desperate elected leaders scared of actual dangers of prosecution or removal from office for indulging in corruption, criminal activity and incompetence.
Leading the strange group of elected leaders chorusing high- sounding public pronouncements like: “Our people should work with the government to get development” and a myriad of attacks on fellow leaders is a group of middle level politicians, notable amongst them being second time Kitutu Chache MP Richard Onyonka.
Last week, media reports had it sensationally that the MP recently hosted over 20 colleagues “of like political behaviour” in his house in Nairobi where they agreed to support Uhuru Kenyatta all the way.
Onyonka who is an opposition MP has come out strongly in support of the Jubilee administration even purporting to prescribe new opposition presidential candidates for 2017 in a campaign that has left many, including his rural voters in Kisii county perplexed and confused. But hidden behind the new scheme is a strategic campaign to access favours and government protection from self inflicted ills.
Other leaders who have treaded this path with zeal and who have left many wondering include a slew of MPs from Coast led by immediate former opposition Chief Whip in the National Assembly Gideon Mung’aro,  some legislators from Western led by the now quiet Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba and Major John Waluke (Sirisia), several legislators from the Gusii counties of Kisii and Nyamira, a group of MPs from Ukambani led by Joe Mutambu, Kisoi Munyao , Francis Mwangangi and Victor Munyaka. Others are Mithika Linturi and several governors Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu), William Kabogo (Kiambu), Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Nderitu Gachagua (Nyeri) and Okoth Obado (Migori) among others.
But just as they claim to be working hard to unite Kenyans behind the government, while strongly encouraged by Jubilee hawks: Senator Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet), Kithure Kindiki (Tharaka Nithi), Charles Keter (Kericho), Kimani Wamatangi (Kiambu) and Mike Sonko (Nairobi) details have begun to emerge how each and every top player in this game is struggling with horrible allegations of malpractices that threaten their political careers and are merely using the sycophancy to appeal to State House for direct protection.
In Budalangi, Namwamba is facing a backlash from voters after strong allegations of his role in misappropriation of the area’s CDF millions of shillings feared to have been embezzled by members of his kitchen cabinet.
The same applies to Governor Mandago who a senate probe committee was told how he cannot explain glaring procurement fraud including paying several contractors upfront tens of millions of shillings even before the jobs for the payments were advertised.
In Nairobi, Senator Sonko lives with many doubts about his huge amounts of money he literally dishes out to the poor to influence their political support plus many cases of involvement in questionable land transaction deals (he has been mentioned in the Karen Land scandal as a beneficiary). There are also allegations of some unclear criminal matters which in the past landed him in court several times and one case of escape from prison which for sure one will go to great lengths to seek protection from high office.
In the president’s home county of Kiambu, Governor Kabogo has been accused of incompetence.
But it is the case of Onyonka that has raised many eyebrows about the true intentions of the drivers of the latest wave of pro-government sycophancy across the country. His father Zachary Onyonka who was minister was a principled, outgoing, resourceful, inspirational and industrious politician of his time.
Reports emerging have it that Onyonka, whose marriage has been at centre of discussion in his late 50s, could be making his way to the powers that be to get recognition for immediate survival and  financial bail outs to settle debts.
More importantly, the former assistant minister is worried of the ongoing case in a Kisumu where he is accused of embezzling millions of Kitutu-Chache constituency CDF money which he allegedly diverted to finance his private business deals. He fears being convicted and jailed and badly wants intervention from State House and the Office of the President to intercede for him to survive the onslaught.
An elderly politician from his constituency has challenged him to be like Uhuru whom he is playing the sycophancy accordion for, by living up to his father’s standards and principles the way the president has remained loyal to Jomo Kenyatta’s values, behaviour and friends. He notes that whereas Uhuru remains “Jomo Kenyatta”s true son” in word and deed, Onyonka is the exact opposite of his late father.
Many accuse Onyonka who resembles his late father of ruining his father’s legacy. Throughout his political career, he is not known for any development project in Kitutu-Chache or Kisii county as a whole.
A senior retired politician from the area who sought anonymity for personal reasons has also warned that the more Onyonka pretends to be “serikali damu”, the more it could be possible he could be deeper into more misappropriation of public funds in his constituency and that he could be appealing for sympathy and protection from the Office of the President in case the frauds catch up with him.
He is accused of having not initiated any meaningful development programmes and has no history of striving to properly shape the politics of Gusii region and its people, but merely sneaks into any team that appears popular at any election time to use it and ride on their back to make it to parliament. But immediately after any elections he embarks on his own designs.
It is now emerging that many politicians across the country who is castigating opponents at the slightest provocation are not worth their salt. The group is saddled withmany corruption cases; sexual and criminal scandals and they are merely tricking their way to protection and state favours.
 Kenyans are fully aware that past top sycophants during the Kenyatta, Daniel Moi and Mwai Kibaki regimes proved to be political fraudsters who manipulated closeness to the presidency to commit big crimes against the country and fellow citizens. Some thrived in mega corruption scandals, assassinations, land grabbing, drug dealings, gun running, magendo and even in general crimes. Therefore, analysts are questioning as to whether the new crop of sycophants are re-crafting the old order and could be infiltrating the presidency in order to get the opportunity to re-commence state sponsored socio- economic and political thuggery.
Anglo-Leasing, Goldenberg, Grand Regency sale, Artur brothers, land grabbing, ethnic clashes, the Turkwel Gorge  scandal, the recent maize scandals and many others have been the works of sycophants.
Recently Mithika Linturi took parliament for a ride, parading a motion to impeach Devolution and Planning cabinet secretary Anne Waiguru. He was merely a gun for hire to pre-empt a genuine impeachment motion. He lined his pockets and took off.  Major Waluke is yet to come over the maize scandal that almost saw him and his business partners fold and acquire the National Cereals and Produce Board.