Thursday, December 02, 2004

MAKOFI ya KILO to Njonjo Mue!

Mkono wa Pongezi from Onyango Oloo in Montreal

1.0. Njonjo Mue Should Be Made a CHIEF of the Golden Heart

The highest award one can be awarded for distinguished national service in Kenya is the Chief of the Golden Heart.

Jamhuri Day is literally TEN DAYS away so I think this gives President Mwai Kibaki ample time to REVISE his list of the 2004 honorees at Kenya’s 41st “independence” celebrations.

Njonjo Mue definitely should TOP that list.

2.0. The Kenyan Slap Heard Around The World

Even over here in Montreal, tens of thousands of miles from Nairobi, I said “Ouch!” even as I added “Yes! Hapo Hapo! Add Him!! Mwongeze!”

Njonjo Mue should be decorated, not incarcerated, for his patriotism.

Instead, he should be feted and showered with accolades.

Giriama men should be flapping their shoulders as they peform a vigorous sengenya routine in his honour. Luo men should be writhing in the laterite soils of Asembo and Luanda Dudi as they go into a delirious trance amidst a joyful ohangla number; Somali women should assemble in Garissa, resplendent in the silky multi-coloured flowing gowns staging one of their unforgetaable numbers while their Swahili sisters from Sarigoi na Mji wa Kale should be gyrating with verve as they do a chakacha dance; Where are the Kings of Esikuti from Eshirotsa and Ikomero? Where are the Samburu Morans with their levitations and chants? Where are the Punjabi teenagers with their Bhangra? Where are the transplanted Caucasian Safari Cowboys of Kabete and Karen with their Line Dancing as they do a rousing rendition of Glen Campbell's Rhinestone Cowboy? Joseph Kamaru where are you when your country needs you? And O Kalenjin Sisters, are your lyrical fountain pens running dry of fresh inspiration? Do we have to drive down to Keroka to grab the strappling Gusii lads for this momentous occasion? Where is Ndarling P, Suzzana Owiyo and Eric Wainana when you need them? Come one, come all, let us all sing the praises of the one and only Njonjo Mue!

School children should be encouraged to enter into a country-wide competition to see which school composes the best tribute to this thirtysomething son of the soil. I mean, it is not every week that a Njonjo Mue just shows up on the national landscape. The Njonjo Mues of Kenya are rare- they are like the Pio Pintos of the sixties, the JM Kariukis, Marie Seroneys, Chelagat Mutais and George Anyonas of the seventies and the Karimi Nduthus, Okong'o Araras, Tirop Kiturs and Wafula Bukes of the eighties and the Amanya Wafulas and Dorcas Atienos of the twenty first century.

What am I yabbering about?

First of all, I am NOT yabbering. Or yammering for that matter.


Njonjo Mue clearly knew what he was doing, as he explained in court. He clearly took the “insane” label and flung it contemptously back at his accusers and his own eloquent words suffice.

3.0. Who is Njonjo Mue?

Far from being a mugoroki or wakanyuge,
Njonjo Mue owns one of the most brilliant and most militant young Kenyan minds today.

Having distinguished himself academically, Njonjo Mue went on to carve a niche for himself as one of the most prolific, audacious, ferocious and engaging political commentators among the Kenyan Diaspora, first when he was a post graduate student at Oxford University and later when he was redeployed to work in South Africa with the renowned international human rights body Article 19. As indicated in the link above, Njonjo was the youngest ever recipient of the jurist of the year award given out by the Kenyan section of the International Commission of Jurists.

Many Kenyans abroad and online are very familiar with his writings and campaigns.

Here is an Open Letter he wrote to former President Daniel arap Moi in 1999.

We associate Njonjo very much with the phrase
the "Uhuru Generation".

And who has forgotten the clever word play in the
the BOMB campaign- as in, Bring Our Money Back? This was long before the issue was mainstreamed by folks and contemporaries like anti-corruption czar John Githongo.

And Njonjo Mue anticipated the blog phenomenon when he was one of the leading lights behind Africa Wired web site several years ago.

At the academic and civil society level, Njonjo has collaborated with others to produce fine papers like this one that is available on PDF format.

4.0. A Dramatic Return to the Front Pages

Just this last weekend (November 27th, 2004) Njonjo Mue unleashed the following ultimatum that was circulated very widely across a whole range of Kenyan discussion forums:

In the matter of the National Assembly of Kenya:


To all Members of the Ninth Parliament, TAKE NOTICE:

We the people of Kenya hereby charge and convict you of the following high crimes and misdemeanours committed against the people of Kenya:

1.THAT in December 2002, you rode into power based on a collective lie, to wit, that you belonged to one political party and would work as one entity for the common good of our country. This has since been proved to have been a blatant fraud committed on the Kenyan people.

2.THAT you gave a series of undertakings and made solemn promises to the Kenyan people prior to the said election only one of which you have bothered to implement satisfactorily.

3.THAT you placed your own interests above the interests of fellow Kenyans, taking away necessities from the masses in order to give luxuries to the classes by, inter alia, awarding yourselves salary increments to the tune of KShs. 500,000/- and KShs.3.3 million for car purchase.

4.THAT the Opposition in Parliament has chosen to remain weak and ineffective, voting with the government, not on matters of national interest, but on those questions, such as salary increments, that benefit them personally. The Opposition cannot therefore provide any viable alternative to the government’s obvious poor performance.

5.THAT you have manifestly failed to deliver to Kenya a new Constitution and have instead resorted to a deliberate game of hide and seek that has left everybody confused and exhausted.

6.THAT you have shown total disrespect to your employers by constantly fighting in public, blatantly lying to them and spending their hard earned money gallivanting all over the country in cheap popularity contests, instead of focusing on spearheading genuine efforts to revive the fortunes of our land.

7.THAT having totally lost direction on matters of governance, you have abdicated your leadership roles and are now busy cobbling up tribal alliances for the sole purpose of hoodwinking the Kenyan people into returning you to power in 2007.

8.THAT you have not taken your work seriously as demonstrated by the ubiquitous lack of quorum in the august House.

9.THAT you have failed to protect the people of Kenya against rampant crime, especially the brutal rape of women and children, widespread murder and rampant car-jacking; and your fight against corruption is a sham and a mockery which consumes huge public resources without any visible results.

10.THAT you have been compromised by big business through improper and illegal entertainments and other undeclared consideration to unduly influence you to vote in their favour in total disregard of the public interest.

It is commonly assumed that you have until December 2007 to get your act together. This assumption is false. This country does not have three years to wait and see whether at some point you shall come to your senses. All indications so far are that you shall not.

The problems facing this country are many. Their name is Legion. And they cannot be resolved with a political leadership that, when not being wined and dined by Tobacco companies at the Coast, is content to stagger from pillar to post on almost all important issues of the day without proffering a coherent vision for the future of this great Republic.

This House of Parliament does not belong to you – the 222 members who currently occupy it. It belongs to the Kenyan people. They, in good faith, gave you temporary occupancy for a very specific purpose – to serve them in making laws “for the welfare of society and the just government of men and women.” In doing this, you have manifestly failed.

For these reasons, we the people of Kenya hereby retrench and recall you and require you to vacate our House of Parliament within twenty-one days of the date of this notice. You should surrender all public property in your possession to the Clerk of the National Assembly who is hereby instructed and authorised to process your terminal dues.

Dated this 27th day of November 2004.

For and on behalf of
the people of Kenya


Reading the above one sees the LOGICAL sequence of events that led to Njonjo Mue leaping over a fence, grabbing a pennant from a NARC fat cat and later on kindly applying some vigorous massage therapy to the pleasantly surprised face of an unsuspecting assistant minister.

5.0. Nothing “Insane” About Standing Up Against Corruption, Sloth and Repression

Njonjo Mue’s actions are a manifestation of POLITICAL LUCIDITY of the highest order. In my humble opinion, I think he should be appointed the National Peace Coordinator because his slap, if taken WITHIN THE CORRECT CURRENT AFFAIRS CONTEXT is a supreme act of kindness that has largely gone unrecognized.

President Kibaki should go to that wine cellar in his State House palace and take out a vintage bottle of the best Kenyan Chang’aa (Five Star Export Brand Circa 1976, the older the mvinyo the better ama?) order a stretch limo to dash to Kamiti with a tuxedo suit and a bow tie and freshly pressed shirt, with the best akala shoes from downtown Masaku and welcome him to his sebule saying:

“Heko! Heko! Ndugu Njonjo Mue Makofi Kwako Kijana! Kofi Lako Has Woken US ALL UP!”

The Kenya Democracy Project will NOT JOIN in the demonization of Njonjo Mue based on the blatant disregard for his privacy that the Kenyan print and electronic media displayed by unleashing his alleged medical records. It does not really matter if it turns out that Ndugu Njonjo has an underlying mental health issue.

When he slapped the minister in question, he could not have been more fully in control of his mental faculties. And his words in court yesterday were DEFINITELY NOT THE GIBBERISH OF A RAVING MANIAC.

We stand by Njonjo Mue and


Like we said, he should instead be made CHIEF of the Golden Heart, Kenya’s highest national award.

Enuff Sed.

Onyango Oloo
Kenya Democracy Project
Montreal, Quebec


john said...

Right on oo.You don't know me but i read a lot of your posts and i admire your patriotism.I could tell that Njonjo Mue was definitely not insane,but had let the events in Kenya boil over.keep up the good work!!

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