Lucy Kibaki, the Kenyan first lady, recently caused mayhem. Shamelessly, she demanded written explanations from a minister for Internal Security, George Saitoti after inferno mowed down over a hundred poor Kenyans as they’re scooping petrol from a burning-over-turned-oil tanker.

Always quarrelsome and belligerent, Mrs. Kibaki blamed this calamity on what she referred to as negligence and insensitivity! Her take on the minister left many more questions than answers. Why did Mrs. Kibaki overreact so as to cross the line?  Is it because she takes Kibaki’s presidency as a family matter or the product of being smart?

Mrs. Kibaki raised eye brawls indeed. Many see this as pretending: she loves Kenyans and care for them especially Molo victims. But when you look at the root cause of these deaths, you find that Mrs. Kibaki is among the causes of it thanks to her husband’s complicity in corruption. 

If indeed Mrs. Kibaki loves Kenyans and cares for them as she’d like everybody to believe, why didn’t she advise her husband against stealing elections which act caused many deaths of innocent people not to mention displaced ones? 

If she truly loves Kenyans, why didn’t she face her hubby and tell him to stop being corrupt as he is to date? Isn’t this pure hypocrisy to shed crocodile tears? 

To add insults to injuries, she said that if the minister responsible were a woman, this wouldn’t have happened! One thing Mrs. Kibaki does not get is the fact that, evidentially, Molo deaths are but the signs of a very-corrupt-and-rotten country where a gang of goons self helps and serves on public property. It is the society in which what matters is what you get but not how you get it. It is the society ruled by hyena-turned rulers whose aim of being in power is to still from paupers. 

So to put record straight, what caused Molo calamity is not insensitivity or negligence. It’s man-made poverty that has forced innocent people to become criminal wrestling to make ends meet. 

Regarding women in power, there are some living examples whereby women ministers failed their countries. Zakia Meghji, Tanzania’s former minister was booted out after it came to light that she illegally authorized payment to a dubious company known as Kagoda that stole over $40,000,000 from Central Bank of Tanzania (BoT). When it comes to graft gender does not matter but personal integrity and probity. That is that.

Looking at how African first ladies covertly and abusively use their husbands’ offices, it become difficult to understand the sincerity of Mrs. Kibaki. And unfortunately for her, she wrongly thinks people do not know how parasitic they live. 

Which African first lady has such moral authority to stand and be counted? The question’s why Mrs. Kibaki got the guts to utter her nonsense still lingers. Is it because she controls her spouse? Is it because she has never read signs of time? 

Stressing how African first ladies misuse and abuse their spouses’ powers, Lucy still thinks that those under her husband’s payroll are but a family estate she can use as she pleased! Refer to how she expelled Matere Keriri, former Kibaki’s Private Secretary and Comptroller of state house. What a shame! 

If it were not for cliffhanger’s behaviour for African rulers, a good thing for Saitoti to do was to relinquish his place in protesting the disgrace Mrs Kibaki committed to him, her husband and the country. But contrary, in Africa, power is sweeter than honey. And the likes of Saitoti are ready to die in shame so as to keep their grip on power or next to it. One is ready to suffer such shame and indignation for the sake of personal survival even in shame like this. What a shame! 

Surprisingly, Saitoti was unable to do the right thing. Even to demand an apology became difficult for him. Hither you can not differentiate between him and Mrs. Kibaki when it comes to doing wrong things. 

But again, looking at Saitoti records when he was vice president in the former autocratic regime, expecting him to do the right thing is as good as telling the ant to lift up the elephant. Mrs. Kibaki who was recently mentioned in the maize scam has as small heart as that of her prey.. And indeed, Saitoti docility and naivety mark insults to our academic attainment. 

He was once misled by two semi-illiterates former dictator Daniel arap Moi and Kamlesh Pattni so as to ruin Kenya’s coffers. Now before dawn, he is dressed down by a myopic first lady without taking any reasonable action! If a professor of mathematics can not calculate such simple political arithmetic, what of the common Kenyan in the street?

However, it must be noted. Kibaki showed maturity for standing by his minister. And this is not the first time for Mrs. Kibaki to have stolen the thunder when it comes to messing up. She once slapped a photojournalist simply because she felt; the media was not treating her husband she deemed fit. 

What Mrs. Kibaki did is not unique and distant incident in Africa. In the neighbouring Tanzania, the former first lady Anna Mkapa is alleged to have amassed ill-gotten wealth thanks to abusing her husband’s powers and office.

While first ladies such as Michelle Obama, Laura Bush and Hilary Clinton are renowned for helping their husbands African ones are known for their abuses of the same. They are more parasites in powers than advisers as in the case of the mentioned first ladies. 

So to cut the story short, it must be noted. Mrs. Kibaki’s bulimia is caused and geared by lack of rule of law and people-geared constitutions in Africa. And indeed, this is why Africa has always been poor. It is because it is ruled by thieves that, along with their families and friends, self help and serve on whatever they are pleased without facing the music.

Shame on you Mrs. Kibaki!

Nkawzi Mhango is a Tanzanian living in Canada. He writes regularly for “The African Executive” and also has a blog entitled “Free Thinking Unabii”. He is a guest contributor to AfroSpear.

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