Social political commentator Patrick Kwinga: We have seen Jubilee, but would NASA be any better?

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Patrick Kwinga, a social and political commentator, has questioned the credibility of the National Super Alliance.

Jubilee regime has its many faults and Kenyans have seen most of them. But for Kwinga, one question still bothers.

Is NASA really any better than the much criticized Jubilee regime?

Here is what he had to say:

It is the cardinal responsibility of every Kenyan to raise alarm when those in power are suspected to have looted public resources. This is a role the NASA co-principals have perfected; shouting from rooftops even when the supposed corruption cases are imaginary.

They are often quick to paint themselves as clean, so much that the coalition’s flagbearer, Raila Odinga, is locally associated with the phrase mweupe kama pamba (white as cotton). But are the co-principals the angels they want us to believe they are? Well, history dictates that Kenyans should be wary not to be taken for fools, and walk right into a predator’s trap.

This week, Musalia Mudavadi, the NASA founder, hit headlines over land grabbing revelations.

The National Land Commission revoked his ownership of a piece of land he had illegally possessed in Nairobi’s Woodley estate. The plot was meant for government housing for poor city residents. Mudavadi also had his ownership of two plots in Kanyakwar, in Kisumu, revoked.

NASA leaders

Strikingly, this is one of many cases where NASA leaders have been entangled in corrupt deals, and are yet to clear their names. 

During Raila’s tenure as Prime Minister, he oversaw the Kazi Kwa Vijana initiative that was riddled with corruption. He addressed parliament and admitted that Ksh308 million meant for Phase 1 of the project could not be accounted for.

His former aide, Miguna Miguna alleged that Raila’s office misappropriated more than Ksh20 million that was meant for the Phase two of the project. In 2011, a U.S government diplomatic cables leak linked the Odinga family to the 2009 maize scandal.

In the WikiLeaks report, former USA ambassador Michael Rannerberger wrote that “We have credible reports that members of Odinga’s family presumably with his knowledge and involvement were involved in the maize scandal.”

He supposed that Raila Raila had publicly implicated former Agriculture minister William Ruto in the maize scandal to divert public attention from his family’s culpability. DP Ruto has also had his fair share of scandals.

The 2003 Ndung’u Land Report also questioned the controversial acquisition of Kisumu molasses plant, a firm associated with the Odinga family.

The factory sits on a 240-acre piece of land, which was previously owned by the government before it changed ownership to Specter International Limited, owned by the Odinga family.

Kalonzo Musyoka, Raila’s running mate, is also yet to come clear on mega scandals around him. When serving as vice president, Kalonzo is said to have influenced an extra allocation to himself of about 200 acres of land adjacent to his original Yatta Farm, land that belonged to the National Youth Service.

Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetangula, also a NASA pentagon member, is also no stranger to scandals.

It was under his watch in 2010 that Kenya lost close to Sh2 billion in the Tokyo embassy scam, leading to his stepping aside as Foreign Affairs minister.

Back to Mudavadi, it should not be lost on Kenyans that he was in charge of the Finance docket when taxpayers lost billions of shillings through the Goldenberg Scandal, the greatest fiscal scandal in independent Kenya.

Ksh5.8 billion was paid out “for no consideration” under the authority between April and July 1993.

While he was not directly implicated as having been responsible, many still question how such a huge amount of money could have been transferred by his juniors and without his knowledge as Finance Minister.

Interestingly, Raila is on record irately accusing the Mudavadi, a foe-turned-comrade, as being the man who oversaw the scandal. Amid all these stains, NASA leaders will find it rough winning the trust of Kenyans as trustworthy custodians of public coffers, and doubts will naturally emerge about their promise to take land grabbers head on.

Will it be the proverbial case of entrusting wolves to take care of our sheep?

 

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