pg 25,26,27 n 28
“Mr. President, sorry to disturb you but the prime minister is here.”
The president turns slowly, not amused to be roused from his trance, for his analogy in his country’s history was not complete yet. He has formed a habit of deep reflection, usually taking the time to go back in time and consider his predecessors in the hope that it can make him a better president. Perhaps someday a new president will sit in his place and include him in a similar analogy, trying to decipher his own strengths and weaknesses as a tool of empowerment. In fact a small smile escapes his thin lips when he wonders whether that fate won’t b left to the man here to see him.
“Tell him I’ll be there in a bit.”
“Yes Mr. President, I’ll show him to your office.”
The aide turns to leave the library but as an afterthought decides to warn the head of state as to the nature of the prime minister’s visit.
“Sir, the prime minister is here because one of his sides minister is being charged in court and has subsequently tendered his resignation.”
“Hmm, that sounds like trouble.” The president sinks back into his comfortable leather sit as he mulls over this new piece of information and the implication it will have on his government and country.
“Who is the minister?” asks the leader reluctantly, annoyed by the fact that no one had bothered to give him a head start before such momentous decisions are carried out.
“Kipruto Arap Korir, who also doubles up as the MDU chairman,” points out the aid respectfully, aware that this news is agitating the elderly head of state.
The president closed closes his eyes and leaned leans his head on the top of the seat, a sign the aid interprets to mean silent dismissal. He hurries on to attend to the other principal who does not also appear to be in a good mood. Njenga, left alone in the library diverts his mind to this bothersome issue and continues to wonder what continuous events led to institutions failing to consult or even inform him before undertaking such major issues. He can’t stop himself from remembering his predecessor’s days, when nothing was ever conceived or done without his consultations. But those days are gone and he has no idea how to revert the situation, knowing very well that he lacks the will power to even try. Back then ministers didn’t just resign or get arraigned in courts without the president’s authority.
In fact he remembers a certain time when a minister in charge of roads was sacked while commissioning a road funded by the government. The bodyguards assigned to that minister were in the official vehicle listening to the radio when they heard that their minister had been fired. Needless to say, the security men entered the official vehicle and drove off, leaving the stunned minister stunned. I like to think the honorable ex-minister had to ask his friends to offer him a ride to the capital, to go and clear his ministerial office and go back to a life of simplicity.
The president rises rigidly from his seat, silently cursing why the prime minister couldn’t have called his deputy to discuss this particular issue. But the prime minister, thinks the president, has always had a large ego and would not think it fitting his status to consult the vice president. He picks up his cane where it lays on top of an adjacent table and walks slowly towards his office. He can get some of the issues his counterpart is likely to pose, and wonders about which answers if any he has for him.
“Mr. President,” acknowledges the Prime Minister as the elderly man steps into the office.
Mr. Njenga sits on one of the comfortable lounge seats in his office facing his prime minister, tow antagonists who have developed an uneasy friendship in the last few years.
“What can I do for you, Mr. Okoth?” asks the president as he looks around for a convenient place to place his cane.
“I think you know why I’m here, and I think that KACC is targeting my people alone, why is that?”
“I think that is a big accusation, prime minister, do you have any evidence to support your suggestions.”
“We will not take this lying down, I’m not suggesting that you have anything to do with this issue, but I don’t trust your people.”
“I’ll look into it,” says Njenga in a presidential tone that is meant to ward off any argument. ” Now, what are we doing about this Hague issue”
The prime minister mulls the question first, wondering whether to direct his thoughts along that particular path of insist on pursuing the ideas that had brought him there. But he knows better, age bringing with it a kind of wisdom necessary if he is to achieve his ultimate ambition. He has always thought himself radical, with a character that is beyond compromise. But the past has taught him in a world of higher politics, lack of compromise breeds more enemies than allies. And Kenyan politics dictate that one must have allies if one is to have the slightest chance towards the presidency. And in that regard, the prime minister has learnt that pride comes before a fall and that sometimes the best approach begins with humility. For wasn’t David just a mere humble sherpad who the good Lord appointed King of Israel.
“We are pursuing the possibility of establishing a local tribunal to try the suspects and hence take over the initiative from the ICC. But it will be difficult to sell the ideas to some people and garnering the necessary votes might be a problem.” That answer seems to cloud the prime minister’s face with worry, knowing that this issue can destroy his chance of ascending to the presidency.
“Good, good. Nothing comes easy; let me know what I can do to help the undecided make up their mind. After all, as president I do have certain tools of persuasion on my disposal.”
“I don’t want to take more of your time, Mr. President so I’ll take my leave now.”
The president walks him to the main door and after saying his goodbye, starts off towards the dining room for lunch.