Connect with us

General

Kiereini: The man who was in the thick of things : The Standard

Published

on

Loading...

Jeremiah Gitau Kiereini, whose family says would be cremated in a private ceremony this Thursday, was at the centre of turning points in Kenya’s history in the 15 of the 30 years he served in the government of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.
The first was the planned military coup against President Uhuru’s father in 1971 when Major General Joseph Ndolo and then Chief Justice Kitili Mwendwa were implicated as accomplices.
The coup could have succeeded had a drunk officer in Britain not botched the plans by talking too much.
Kenyatta forgave Mwendwa and Ndolo but relieved them of their duties.
At the time, Kiereini had then just been appointed the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defense “and it was a very trying time for me as I tried to diffuse the situation” he later recalled as he also helped in modernising the military.
But by mid-1970s Kenyatta’s health was failing and Kiereini found himself among a retinue of nabobs in government recreating the future of Kenya without Jomo.
There were two groups planning the same thing in hotels: The Red Bull group was led by Attorney General Charles Njonjo and met at the Red Bull restaurant, Mama Ngina Street.
Then there was Stanley Githunguri’s Pizza Garden group which met at Pizza Garden in Westlands
Stanley Githunguri, later MP for Kiambaa Constituency, was a banker turned hotelier.
The Red Bull group comprised Njonjo’s henchmen: Spymaster James Kanyotu, politician GG Kariuki, State Counsel Sharad Rao, Deputy public prosecutor James Karugu, later Attorney General, GSU Commandant Ben Gethi, CID Boss Ignatius Nderi, Home Affairs Minister Stanley Oloititip, Health Minister James Osogo, Treasury Undersecretary John Michuki, later a politician, Habel Nyamu and Kiereini, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defense, a post he got after Njoroge King’ang’i resigned.
Njonjo did not like King’ang’i much.
The Red Bull group “discussed anything; including rumours and whispers of concern to Njonjo,” notes Duncan Ndegwa in his bio, Walking in Kenyatta’s Struggles: My Story.
“Anyone seeking favour from high places in government would send someone connected to Njonjo’s power lunch,” he writes.
Defense Minister James Gichuru (whom Kiereini admired besides Mboya and Kenyatta as politicians) would be occasionally invited but the favour was gradually dropped.
Gichuru would swill one too many at Karai Bar and disclose the goings on of the Red Bull group- which was planning the smooth ascent to the presidency when Kenyatta died, besides his funeral arrangements.
“In collaboration with [Bruce] Mackenzie, Kiereini and the Chief Secretary,” Ndegwa writes “a transitional committee to cater for the eventuality-as well as after-Mzees demise began work a year before Kenyatta’s death. The committee was to take care of funeral arrangements, and, at the same time, who and how to confront the prospect of insurgency.”
The Pizza Garden group comprised Kenyatta’s physician Dr Njoroge Mungai, businessman Njenga Karume, businessman Harun Muturi Njee, JM Kariuki’s brother-in-law and Stanley Githunguri who informally advised Kenyatta.
Although the Pizza Garden group was powerful, influencing government policy and appointments, it was Njonjo’s Red Bull charges with Kanyotu as a lead strategist that carried the day after Kenyatta’s death.
Ndegwa contends that when Kenyatta died, Vice President Daniel arap Moi was sworn the following afternoon, August 23, 1978. The Head of Civil Service was Geffrey Kariithi. His swearing-in papers cited Moi as acting president as per the Constitution.
Ndegwa notes that Njonjo “deleted the word “acting” before the word “President” and substituted this to read as just “president” which was not the precise prescription in the constitution, destroying in one stroke the moral, political and jurisprudential assumptions and underpinnings governing a Presidential transition and leadership choice in Kenya…it was criminal, a usurpation of the powers entrusted in him.”
Kiereini told the Sunday Nation 10 years ago that he stood by the Constitution “as a matter of principle.”
“I was privy to very sensitive information,” he recalled at the time, “I thought if we were not careful, those for constitutional changes might have brought this country into political turmoil.”
After the abortive coup of 1982, Kiereini directed all Ministers and other mandarins in government to “see the President only by appointment.”
Jeremiah Gitau Kiereini never joined politics after his retirement. “It is a dirty game” as Njonjo once described it. “Politics spoils one’s name.” He joined big business until his death on Tuesday.

Loading...

Comments

comments

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

KDF officer pursues Sh317K from Aim Global Limited ‘agents’ – Nairobi News

Published

on

Loading...

A Kenya Defence Forces officer is pursuing Sh317,000 from two men who lured him into global multi-level marketing agency –-Aim Global Limited– promising him packages of the agency’s products and a monthly commission of Sh20,000.

The two suspects Austine Muema and Collins Owino Onyango are said to have promised the military officer handsome returns but the investment turned out to be hogwash forcing him to report to Kamukunji police station.

The two are under investigations for obtaining money by false pretences from Moses Otieno Okongo of Kenya Navy.

Okongo had been introduced to the venture by his colleague who further introduced him to Onyango. Onyango had purported to be an Aim Global’s agent.

Okongo transferred Sh271,000 to an account belonging to Alliance in Motion Global Kenya Limited between April 2 and 4 via a pay bill number.

He later sent Muema Sh46,000 via M-Pesa but afterwards, he has only been receiving promises.

Loading...

Okongo was to receive a package of the products for sale after meeting the requirements and a Sh20,000 each month before he realised the deal was fake.

Onyango and Muema were apprehended last weekend and a police officer at Kamukunji unsuccessfully sought to detain them for seven days pending investigations.

Constable Geoffrey Cheruiyot wanted to hold the two for seven days but Makadara chief magistrate Heston Nyaga freed them on Sh 50,000 bond and directed the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to probe the activities of the agency.

Okongo was listed as a second applicant in Cheruiyot’s application.

Comments

comments

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

Donald Trump trying to ‘divide’ America: Ex-Pentagon chief Mattis

Published

on

Loading...

Washington

Former Pentagon chief Jim Mattis issued a stinging rebuke of his erstwhile boss Donald Trump on Wednesday, accusing the president of trying to “divide” America and failing to provide “mature leadership” as the country reels from days of protests.

Mattis, who resigned in December 2018 over Trump’s ordering of a full troop withdrawal from Syria, also voiced support for the demonstrators whose anti-racism rallies have roiled the country.

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try,” Mattis wrote in a blistering statement posted online by The Atlantic.

“Instead, he tries to divide us,” added the retired Marine general, who had previously argued it would be inappropriate for him to criticize a sitting president.

NO MATURE LEADERSHIP

Advertisement

“We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership,” he stated.

Mattis described himself as “angry and appalled” after witnessing events of the last week, which saw Trump threaten a military crackdown on American citizens as nationwide protests turned violent in some cities.

The fury was ignited by the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a black man who suffocated beneath the knee of a white police officer, and whose agonizing death was filmed by bystanders.

The demonstrations have mostly been peaceful, but some have degenerated into violence and looting as night falls.

WHOLESOME DEMAND

Mattis wrote that the protesters’ call for equal justice was a “wholesome and unifying demand.”

And he slammed the decision to use force to clear peaceful protesters from near the White House on Monday to allow Trump to pose for photographs at a nearby damaged church, calling it an “abuse of executive authority.”

The photo op has become a lightning rod for criticism of Trump’s handling of the crisis, with religious leaders, politicians, and onlookers around the country expressing outrage.

Loading...

“When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution,” Mattis stated.

CONSTITUTION

“Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens – much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”

Trump dismissed Mattis with a tweet, rehashing his claim that he “essentially” fired his Pentagon chief.

“Probably the only thing Barack Obama and I have in common is that we both had the honour of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General,” the president wrote.

Mattis was head of US Central Command when Obama fired him in 2013 over his hawkish views on Iran.

CALL FOR SOLIDARITY

For months after Mattis resigned, he refused to criticise Trump publicly, insisting the military must remain apolitical.

Wednesday’s statement appeared to signal that he no longer felt bound by that sentiment, as he called for solidarity – with or without the president.

“We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society,” Mattis wrote.

He also appeared to rebuke current Pentagon chief Mark Esper, without specifically naming him.

“We must reject any thinking of our cities as a ‘battlespace’ that our uniformed military is called upon to ‘dominate,'” he said.

Esper faced criticism after telling US governors on Monday that they should “dominate the battlespace” to end the protests.

On Wednesday, the Pentagon chief backtracked, telling reporters: “In retrospect, I would use different wording.”

Comments

comments

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

North Korea threatens to scrap military deal with South

Published

on

Loading...

Seoul

North Korea threatened Thursday to scrap a military agreement with the South and close down a cross-border liaison office unless Seoul stops activists from flying anti-Pyongyang leaflets over the border.

The statement issued by the powerful younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un comes amid a deep freeze in inter-Korean ties, despite three summits between Kim and the South’s President Moon Jae-in in 2018.

North Korean defectors and other activists have long flown balloons across the border carrying leaflets that criticise Kim over human rights abuses and his nuclear ambitions.

“The South Korean authorities will be forced to pay a dear price if they let this situation go on while making all sort of excuses,” Kim Yo Jong said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

DEFECTORS

Advertisement

Calling the defectors “human scum” and “rubbish-like mongrel dogs” who betrayed their homeland, she said it was “time to bring their owners to account” in a reference to the South Korean government.

Loading...

She threatened to scrap a military pact signed during Moon’s visit to Pyongyang in 2018 aimed at easing border tensions, and shut down a cross-border liaison office.

But most of the deals agreed at that meeting have not been acted on, with Pyongyang largely cutting off contact with Seoul following the collapse of a summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump in Hanoi last year that left nuclear talks at a standstill.

OPERATIONS SUSPENDED

Operations at the liaison office have already been suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the North has carried out dozens of weapons tests since the military agreement was signed.

Kim Yo Jong also threatened to pull out permanently from joint projects with the South including the Kaesong Industrial Park and Mount Kumgang tours – both of them money-spinners for the North that have been suspended for years due to sanctions over its weapons programmes.

Comments

comments

Loading...
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Loading...
Advertisement
Loading...

Trending