Are Kenya’s ‘First Families’ Uniting to Support President Kibaki’s Second Term?
Move is seen more as aimed at stopping the ‘any other party’ winning elections rather than one of getting Kibaki re-elected.
When the 2007 Africa Motorcycle Union (AMU) motocross championship ended last weekend, the Kenya team emerged the overall team winners with 450 points ahead of Zimbabwe and South Africa (tied at 364), Zambia (307), Namibia (205), Uganda (66) and Tanzania (2). The 2007 Brookside AMU Continental Championship is the second most prestigious continental motocross event after the FIM, MX 1 and MX 2 World Championships annually hosted by South Africa.
It was double joy for the Kibaki family because young Mwai Kibaki junior was a Kenya team participant in the 65cc Class (6-12years) category which was one of the categories won by Kenya.
A company owned by the Kenyatta family and a leading milk processor in Kenya – Brookside Dairy Limited, were the official Title Sponsors for the 2007 Brookside AMU Continental Championship after donating a KShs 1million package. Brookside also provided free dairy products to all competitors during the event.
Kenya is an affiliate of the AMU headquarters in South Africa through the Kenya Motorsports Foundation (KMSF) whose Chairman is Mr. Maina Muturi, a grandson of the late President Jomo Kenyatta. AMU are the recognised African subsidiary of Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (International Motorcycling Federation) or FIM which is in turn recorgnised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). AMU are mandated to act in all matters in relation to motorcycling activities in Africa from sport, tourism, leisure, environment, mobility, road safety, to legislative affairs and the protection and defence of the rights and interests of motorcyclists.
Both Gideon Moi and Jimmy Kibaki are members of the East African Motor Sports Club , the organisers of the AMU event. Apart from being favourite sons of their fathers, Gideon and Jimmy’s young sons Kimoi Moi and Mwai Kibaki Junior are budding motocross riders, a sport still in its infancy in Kenya and, like polo, only played by people from very rich family backgrounds.
In a vote of thanks memo dated 20/Aug/2007 sent by e-mail to the KMSF through his wife Sheryl Kibaki, Jimmy Kibaki is quoted saying:
“Wonderful, magical, majestic, fantastic… I run out of words”
“The Brookside 2007 AMU Challenge will go down as one of the greatest sporting events ever held in Kenya. It was a sight to behold, and for our children, well, they will remember it for the rest of their lives.”
“I would like to thank the Chairman of Brookside Dairy, Mr. Muhoho Kenyatta, whose personal commitment and involvement made the event a resounding success….”
“To the entire Organizing Committee, thank you for a job well done. You have done Kenya proud. The rest of Africa stands warned that Kenya is a motocross force to be reckoned with. And as far as the 65 cc class is concerned, all we can tell them is…. “iko na wenyewe – it has it’s owners”….Jimmy Kibaki concludes.
Two days later, the president was in attendance at 29th anniversary of the death of the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta at the Mausoleum at Parliament Buildings, Nairobi. The long chats the president had with Mama Ngina and Uhuru Kenyatta did not escape anyone’s attention, and their body language did not indicate any hostility towards each other, unlike mzee’s 24th anniversary in 2003 which was a tension packed formality for the president and the founding father’s first family. The president actually walked together with Mama Ngina and others to the Holy Family Basilica for a church service.
President Mwai Kibaki greets Mama Ngina Kenyatta on arrival at the mausoleum of the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta at Parliament Buildings, Nairobi. Looking on is Hon Uhuru Kenyatta and Nairobi Mayor Dick Wathika.
There is every indication that former President Moi is fighting ODM on behalf of President Kibaki. During the same week, on 20th August 2007, Gideon Moi speaking as KANU’s Rift Valley representative, was widely reported in the local press as dismissing ODM elders meeting in Eldoret last weekend. He also trashed the ODM inaugural rally in Eldoret on Sunday, in which Rift Valley leaders passed a resolution to remain in ODM. He claimed that local people were being hoodwinked that there would be an ODM National Delegates Congress at Kasarani to elect a presidential candidate, yet the “winner is already known”. Gideon reiterated KANU would field candidates in the General Election later this year. “As Kanu, we are not going that route (the ODM way). We are going to field parliamentary and civic candidates”. He said Kanu was negotiating with other like-minded leaders with a view to coming together to offer a middle ground (sic)!
It is an open secret that political deals are not cut in boardrooms. If recent events are anything to go by, then the Kenyatta, Moi and Kibaki families are warming up to each other and any alliance that they choose to form will be formidable political grouping by any standards. In concluding his KMSF memo, Jimmy Kibaki could be telling the likes of ODM, Kenya iko na wenyewe!