Paul Ngei isn’t a Hero!!! 

It is 2016 the commemoration of our country’s greatest men and women ,Mashujaa,those who stood tall against colonisation and colonisers. Those who held on to their proverbial titanium balls, all through the torture and even imprisonment. This is unofficially the greatest honor our nation has mastered for our patriotic nationals who have contributed to our nationhood. Though this honour has had many a people across our history bequeathed, specifically those who rebelled and fought since the days of Koitalel Arap Samoei to the Kapenguria seven, the latter group has had most benefits stretching to this year. 

If you went through the 844 system back when it still had a healthy spirit of defiance and overwhelming knowledge,imposing these and more onto innocent brains, you would know the six as the back of your hand: Jomo Kenyatta, Kung’u Karumba, Bildad Kaggia, Paul Ngei (two more for your research) 

Fast forward to 2016, Uhuru Kenyatta is President of Kenya, son to our founding father Jomo Kenyatta, (one of the Kapenguria inmate) he, in his excellence takes the festivities to Machakos for the first time since independence. What happens after the commemoration steals the heart of our article today, the simple act that defined the whole occasion. He walked into the town and unveiled a statue in honour of yet another Kapenguria inmate/survivor.  Noteworthy the previous week was marked by his impromptu crashing of some corruption talk between the stakeholders charged with fighting it, Department of Public Prosecution, Police boss (IG) Justice department represented ,press and the likes. The president walks in takes the floor and microphone from the then MC Jeff Koinange. He announces his frustration with the institutions that are to fight corruption, their lack of action and pointing fingers. He stood there picking out individuals’ short comings, the failure of Justice to pass judgement, DPP’s failure to prosecute, the laxity of the police to investigate, this and many more. 

In a manner missed, admired and craved after by many loyal Kenyans, our President was seen to call out the imperfections clogging our government. 

“Well done Mr. President! Yes! Put them to task! ” I would imagine Kenyans say. 

“or do you want me to line them up in Uhuru Park in front of a firing squad??” the President’s blunt question was taken with mixed feelings, not knowing what it meant; was he overwhelmed? Defeated? Furious? Vengeful? Conducting a PR gimmick? Whatever it was, heads turned and got alarmed. 
Come twentieth October, mashujaa day, he read the long list of freedom fighters,conveniently leaving out The Odingas & Mboya(considered  

Western Kenya heros) and evaded the too common political and corruption talk. 
Unknown to the most of us, is that Paul Ngei was to be commemorated and immortalized. Complete with a statue in Machakos, similar to the one of Field Marshall Dedan Kimathi along Kimathi street. And why not, it was Mashujaa day and he was after all, one of the famous Kapenguria inmates. It should be expected that in such an occasion, a man of good repute and unquestionable character should be canonized in one of our towns, immortalized for all to see and aim to be, to inspire Kenyans to be more patriotic and of good character just like them. 
As the saying goes ‘the devil is in the details’ and in this particular case the devil handed us a good one, we learnt a wholly different picture of the celebrated man. 
Paul Ngei was NOT a national hero, he was NOT a man of good character, he was NEVER above reproach, he is definitely NOT of good character, especially character that is to be emulated. He officiated impunity and corruption with the finess that so many politicians have tried and failed to match up to, setting the bar on atrocities so high that his like minded successors could only but scratch the surface on his record.
This man opened the door to blatant corruption and wanton theft through government ministries and ones opened it never closed. The man was one of many firsts, he was subject to the first ever commission of inquiry into theft of public monies from under his ministry of agriculture. You see he was the minister for Agriculture, and chair of today’s equivalent NCPB, then called Maize Marketing Board. At a time where Kenya’s cereal produce was on the increase we ended up importing maize because the ministry had exported part of the national reserves in mysterious circumstances. 

For a man who ones told Bildad Kaggia, yet another of the Kapenguria six who decided not to steal himself thousands of acres (probably his bunkmate) to walk into Del Monte farm and take as much land as he wished, if anyone would ask he was to send them to parlé with Ngei at ministry of lands. Bildad Kaggia, ever righteous refused and resigned into his home in East lands area, leading a humble life to his death. Ngei went on in his ways, albeit unstopped, creating a maize cartel across Eastern province that can only be compared to the current NYS saga. He even at ones drove off with a brand new Mercedes Benz from DT Dobie on a road test and never returned it to date. 

He took lots of loans from commercial banks and never paid them back because he simply could and he was after all in the government . An interesting tale of when Mbiu Koinange gave the man a sum of 2,500(consider this like today’s 20million) to arrange purchase and delivery of about 600 bags of grains to his poultry farm. A week later Mr. Koinange called the Maize board and asked for his consignment, they then confirmed that indeed money did change hands, only that it wasn’t deposited into the accounts. Koinange got his consignment, Paul Ngei in his defiant fashion never paid. Unfortunately for him Karma caught up with him, soon and swiftly, most of his property was repossessed by debt collectors as he suffered a serious case of Diabetes that saw his legs amputated. 

This are just a few of what Kenya suffered through under his reign. Now take that picture compare and contrast it to the one of Bildad Kaggia and imagine a statue being sanctioned to his honour, immortalizing the man. Bildad Kaggia not enjoying the honor and Kenyans never learning 

‘Feed integrity, starve impunity’ so the adage goes.  In this aspect Mr. Kenyatta, you failed your country. A man that was implicated in that level of theft should be commemorated only in the annals of justice as an unshakable precedence against those who device ways to rob off the people. But no! Never in Kenya! When Uhuru did this it sent shock waves to those who were enlightened of the past and of his many atrocities. That a man who had robbed too much from his people, who had debt collectors clean him out leaving him begging at parliament gates, would eventually receive a statue in his honour. If in our country we purport to fight corruption we turn round too fast to endorse it and even award the biggest perpetrators of it. 

In future a young child in Machakos will look up at the statue and ask his/her father the dreaded question “who is that? ” 

He will swallow hard and quip “Paul Ngei” knowing full well the sequence of questions that are to follow 

“who was he? ”

“Why does he have a statue? ”

Where are we heading to? What will our children learn about their gallant nation? Did someone in State House forget to tell His Excellency of Ngei’s past? After all he was the bully to Jomo Kenyatta while in Kapenguria, go figure, and had a troublesome relation with mzee.

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Kenya’s Political Revolution

The Political Revolution.
A worthwhile flashback on this particular topic is well deserved. On the heels of Kenya’s second revolution (the first being attainment of Independence), the removal of Nyayo, as Moi was popularly known, along with several other pseudo names, such as Baba, Mzee, Mo1, some given, some well achieved ; but all referring to his superiority/charisma as a leader. We got ourselves Stanley Mwai Kibaki, an economist and long standing political figure ; accredited to putting our economy higher than those of most countries in Asia, and improving agriculture such that Kenyan tea and Coffee was synonymous to quality caffeine. One hell of a profile of public work, it was time to install this over achiever in State House to do his magic to our dying economy.

At a time when most of the population were youths,well informed and those who had bore witness to atrocities over the Nyayo error: the politically-backed tribal clashes, tortures of prominent and non-prominent Kenyans in the ominous Nyayo house basement. A time when crushing of nuts, no matter how much of Titanium was within was a common occurrence, guys getting nubbed from street corners after mention of ‘Baba’s’ name in bad light, a slight tap on your shoulder introduced to hitmen with one order and one only ‘to screw you over too hard for memory to work’ and if your head turned out to be too hard to convince otherwise (very few got here) a lorry(rumored to be the Isuzu TX) would ‘accidentally’ crash into you as you negotiated the wavy corners of the narrow Naivasha-Nakuru highway;such deeds put an end to many of our ambitious to-be-leaders, ambitious leaders who had had a keen eye on our country since independence. The few that survived are the ones we ‘millenials’ call old/ancient; Raila Odinga, James Orengo, Martin Sikuku and many more.

Given this patch of our past, you would understand the electric hope that brought in Mwai Kibaki, the spirit that everyone in the nation had caught,the realization that we can achieve anything, the light at the end of the tunnel was finally within grasp. Now the political satire songs could not only be sang but preformed in front of Baba, Nyayo, Mo1, the Power-House, the One Army. We were truly free, the ‘newcomers’ had not disappointed in their ambitions, tabling irresistible offers: free Education program to all, construction of roads, the lifting of manufacturing plants, those that would finally bring in foreign exchange and many many more. This kind of hope is electric and such a power you don’t stand in front of, whether it be right or wrong. Perhaps the most intriguing change we experienced was the opening up of liberty and media, we could now broadcast and get information untainted by the state’s touch or oppression ,bloggers like me could now write and post their thought, perception of truth, without fear of recourse. Kenya was free of Neo-colonialism finally after decades of freedom. Salute to the politicians who stood strong, a moment of silence to those who died and /or suffered : Pinto Gama Pinto, Matiba, J. M Kariuki, Father Kaisser, Tom Mboya and many many more.

Fast forward to the 2007 elections, the country was split between two heavy hitters, Kibaki & Raila. Both with vibrant profiles, one self-made brilliant economist, with a record from his secondary school as having garnered the highest point in economics, former bus tout, achieving minister in finance and agriculture, Kibaki was truly a star. The other’s roots and legacy streched from before our independence, carrying not just his own but his father’s legacy, Oginga Odinga selflessly refused to accept Kenya’s independence until all political detainees were set free, stepping down to Jomo Kenyatta. Now there was one of Kenya’s defining move, young Raila saw that same government turn black and ugly and sort to fight for equality, in the opposition since we can recall, it seems as if he inherited the seat from his father who left government 3 years after independence. You can feel his passion, as he charismatically moves crowds with a simple ‘Kitendawili’ fluent and carrying the hopes and dreams of a people neglected and forgotten since independence, he is a force to reckon with. The two matched head to head more severely since earlier on they publicly joined forces to oust the notorious Nyayo error.

The two head to head, guns onto each other’s head, the weight of their cronies and tribesmen fueling their claim, legitimizing their ambition and most importantly keeping them from turning back pressing them on like two cocks in a betting fight. Whatever relationship they had before vaporizes amidst this kind of heat. And a stand off occurred, not all like the cowboy stand offs, or Russian Roullets ,this was ungoverned, no rules, no system, no gentlemanly, no superior power to adhere to(Mo1 was out so who could) people knew their power and wouldn’t falter and seat back as their decision was stepped on. They were like a relentless shark having tasted blood. For a whole five years we had tasted freedom and couldn’t let go! So we protected it as well as we knew how to. Machete’s were sharpened, youth gangs were employed by a political oligarch, neighbor turned foe, our streets battle ground, friends were now just your tribesmen alliances long lost were rekindled, alliances across these borders were broken just as fast.

The country was now hot, both sides certain of their victory on the ballot, our image of a free democracy! Mr. Kivuitu of ECK, at pains to explain results from different regions, before a violent audience, heavily disputing them, some legitimately, some to keep their numbers up. At some point in the exchange it seemed as if the ballot wouldn’t decide and that the only winner would be the victor in a Bloodbath! A moment of silence and heads would roll falling off.

Our tribal roots were re-discovered ,tribal lands re-defined, wow unto you if you found yourself or your property outside your traditional region. We were wrong for imagining the death of our traditional warriors for they not only arose and stood tall but exacted as much animosity against their tribal foes as centuries could pack. Hate and blame that had accumulated since independence, when the country was split among the few power houses. Groups of men came together door to door ridding themselves of their foes, men, women even children not spared. Word spread quick to other regions, and the drums of war reverberated across our nation, as others reacted to news of their kinsmen pain with equal if not more blows. The country was suddenly in a deluge of systematic breakdown of order and peace. Those of us young and innocent of the world were wide mouthed, agape, thrust with the reality of deep seated hatred and violence much much older than our beloved Nation.

In a short time all the progress we had made, not just the previous five years but since independence, was threatened with complete obliteration. The economy stood still, spurring even the most refined of our people to speak, they couldn’t assume as they had many times before; the sight of shops closed, milk and bread undelivered, violence in different areas airing all day on media unceasingly. A chill spread to all and sundry equally not loosing it’s frost bites, we had to stop!!!! Images of media personalities shunning the violence comes to mind, Churchill the Comedian too, as serious as he can be, calling for a quick resolution. In the back ground schools closed as those in affected areas sought to move towards more peaceful areas. Nairobi was struck by violence too, calls for mass action by ODM principals, resulted to running battles.

We witnessed the swearing in of Kibaki i to power, quick and unceremoniously,another first, despite only seeing one other swearing in we didn’t know how one should look like. The rest that followed is history as Kibaki took office and sought to calm the nation, bringing in peace and a semblance of order. Needless to say that things would never be the same since that.

Fast forward to 2016, we have a huge youthful population, 41 million in number. The media is free to publish and that it does,especially of the notoriety popular in government. Remember the free primary education? Yes these are the beneficiaries, now all grown past almost-free high school education. Now in universities and/or running vibrant businesses from their social media accounts via their phones. Driving up trade and eager for success. These are the catalyst of the much awaited change we so wish for, these individuals in their millions, armed with information and packed with ambition; these are the ones who change faster than our older leaders can keep up with. Impressive though they don’t subscribe to nonsense, they would fight boldly to preserve their nation’s respect; recall the ‘hotbed’ of terror headline? The posts of a government arm bragging of his diplomatic passport? In retrospect I am hopeful for our nation.


Quick notepad

Kenya’s Political Revolution

The Political Revolution.
A worthwhile flashback on this particular topic is well deserved. On the heels of Kenya’s second revolution (the first being attainment of Independence), the removal of Nyayo, as Moi was popularly known, along with several other pseudo names, such as Baba, Mzee, Mo1, some given, some well achieved ; but all referring to his superiority/charisma as a leader. We got ourselves Stanley Mwai Kibaki, an economist and long standing political figure ; accredited to putting our economy higher than those of most countries in Asia, and improving agriculture such that Kenyan tea and Coffee was synonymous to quality caffeine. One hell of a profile of public work, it was time to install this over achiever in State House to do his magic to our dying economy.

At a time when most of the population were youths,well informed and those who had bore witness to atrocities over the Nyayo error: the politically-backed tribal clashes, tortures of prominent and non-prominent Kenyans in the ominous Nyayo house basement. A time when crushing of nuts, no matter how much of Titanium was within was a common occurrence, guys getting nubbed from street corners after mention of ‘Baba’s’ name in bad light, a slight tap on your shoulder introduced to hitmen with one order and one only ‘to screw you over too hard for memory to work’ and if your head turned out to be too hard to convince otherwise (very few got here) a lorry(rumored to be the Isuzu TX) would ‘accidentally’ crash into you as you negotiated the wavy corners of the narrow Naivasha-Nakuru highway;such deeds put an end to many of our ambitious to-be-leaders, ambitious leaders who had had a keen eye on our country since independence. The few that survived are the ones we ‘millenials’ call old/ancient; Raila Odinga, James Orengo, Martin Sikuku and many more.

Given this patch of our past, you would understand the electric hope that brought in Mwai Kibaki, the spirit that everyone in the nation had caught,the realization that we can achieve anything, the light at the end of the tunnel was finally within grasp. Now the political satire songs could not only be sang but preformed in front of Baba, Nyayo, Mo1, the Power-House, the One Army. We were truly free, the ‘newcomers’ had not disappointed in their ambitions, tabling irresistible offers: free Education program to all, construction of roads, the lifting of manufacturing plants, those that would finally bring in foreign exchange and many many more. This kind of hope is electric and such a power you don’t stand in front of, whether it be right or wrong. Perhaps the most intriguing change we experienced was the opening up of liberty and media, we could now broadcast and get information untainted by the state’s touch or oppression ,bloggers like me could now write and post their thought, perception of truth, without fear of recourse. Kenya was free of Neo-colonialism finally after decades of freedom. Salute to the politicians who stood strong, a moment of silence to those who died and /or suffered : Pinto Gama Pinto, Matiba, J. M Kariuki, Father Kaisser, Tom Mboya and many many more.

Fast forward to the 2007 elections, the country was split between two heavy hitters, Kibaki & Raila. Both with vibrant profiles, one self-made brilliant economist, with a record from his secondary school as having garnered the highest point in economics, former bus tout, achieving minister in finance and agriculture, Kibaki was truly a star. The other’s roots and legacy streched from before our independence, carrying not just his own but his father’s legacy, Oginga Odinga selflessly refused to accept Kenya’s independence until all political detainees were set free, stepping down to Jomo Kenyatta. Now there was one of Kenya’s defining move, young Raila saw that same government turn black and ugly and sort to fight for equality, in the opposition since we can recall, it seems as if he inherited the seat from his father who left government 3 years after independence. You can feel his passion, as he charismatically moves crowds with a simple ‘Kitendawili’ fluent and carrying the hopes and dreams of a people neglected and forgotten since independence, he is a force to reckon with. The two matched head to head more severely since earlier on they publicly joined forces to oust the notorious Nyayo error.

The two head to head, guns onto each other’s head, the weight of their cronies and tribesmen fueling their claim, legitimizing their ambition and most importantly keeping them from turning back pressing them on like two cocks in a betting fight. Whatever relationship they had before vaporizes amidst this kind of heat. And a stand off occurred, not all like the cowboy stand offs, or Russian Roullets ,this was ungoverned, no rules, no system, no gentlemanly, no superior power to adhere to(Mo1 was out so who could) people knew their power and wouldn’t falter and seat back as their decision was stepped on. They were like a relentless shark having tasted blood. For a whole five years we had tasted freedom and couldn’t let go! So we protected it as well as we knew how to. Machete’s were sharpened, youth gangs were employed by a political oligarch, neighbor turned foe, our streets battle ground, friends were now just your tribesmen alliances long lost were rekindled, alliances across these borders were broken just as fast.

The country was now hot, both sides certain of their victory on the ballot, our image of a free democracy! Mr. Kivuitu of ECK, at pains to explain results from different regions, before a violent audience, heavily disputing them, some legitimately, some to keep their numbers up. At some point in the exchange it seemed as if the ballot wouldn’t decide and that the only winner would be the victor in a Bloodbath! A moment of silence and heads would roll falling off.

Our tribal roots were re-discovered ,tribal lands re-defined, wow unto you if you found yourself or your property outside your traditional region. We were wrong for imagining the death of our traditional warriors for they not only arose and stood tall but exacted as much animosity against their tribal foes as centuries could pack. Hate and blame that had accumulated since independence, when the country was split among the few power houses. Groups of men came together door to door ridding themselves of their foes, men, women even children not spared. Word spread quick to other regions, and the drums of war reverberated across our nation, as others reacted to news of their kinsmen pain with equal if not more blows. The country was suddenly in a deluge of systematic breakdown of order and peace. Those of us young and innocent of the world were wide mouthed, agape, thrust with the reality of deep seated hatred and violence much much older than our beloved Nation.

In a short time all the progress we had made, not just the previous five years but since independence, was threatened with complete obliteration. The economy stood still, spurring even the most refined of our people to speak, they couldn’t assume as they had many times before; the sight of shops closed, milk and bread undelivered, violence in different areas airing all day on media unceasingly. A chill spread to all and sundry equally not loosing it’s frost bites, we had to stop!!!! Images of media personalities shunning the violence comes to mind, Churchill the Comedian too, as serious as he can be, calling for a quick resolution. In the back ground schools closed as those in affected areas sought to move towards more peaceful areas. Nairobi was struck by violence too, calls for mass action by ODM principals, resulted to running battles.

We witnessed the swearing in of Kibaki i to power, quick and unceremoniously,another first, despite only seeing one other swearing in we didn’t know how one should look like. The rest that followed is history as Kibaki took office and sought to calm the nation, bringing in peace and a semblance of order. Needless to say that things would never be the same since that.

Fast forward to 2016, we have a huge youthful population, 41 million in number. The media is free to publish and that it does,especially of the notoriety popular in government. Remember the free primary education? Yes these are the beneficiaries, now all grown past almost-free high school education. Now in universities and/or running vibrant businesses from their social media accounts via their phones. Driving up trade and eager for success. These are the catalyst of the much awaited change we so wish for, these individuals in their millions, armed with information and packed with ambition; these are the ones who change faster than our older leaders can keep up with. Impressive though they don’t subscribe to nonsense, they would fight boldly to preserve their nation’s respect; recall the ‘hotbed’ of terror headline? The posts of a government arm bragging of his diplomatic passport? In retrospect I am hopeful for our nation.


Quick notepad