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“I don’t eat nyama choma, I eat a lot of veggies” ‘Duke of Kabeteshire’ Charles Njonjo turns 99

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BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA

Kenya’s Former Attorney General Charles Njonjo on Wednesday celebrated his 99th birthday.

Despite being just one year shy of the centenarian tag,, the Duke of Kabeteshire, as he is popularly known, still remains regal and enigmatic and also a celebrity.

In a previous interview, asked what keeps him young, Njonjo said he looks after himself.

I swim daily, I used to do 12 laps, now I do only seven. I also have a bicycle which I ride for 10 minutes daily, on top of the treadmill which I do for 10 minutes daily. I’m also careful about what I eat; I don’t eat nyama choma, I eat a lot of veggies,”  he told Business Daily in an interview

Njonjo, who featured prominently (and powerfully) in the post-independence politics of Kenya, was known for his “hawkish” brand of politics and is often touted as one of the wealthiest men in Kenya.

Below is an interview he did with Business Daily when he was 25 years.

To describe “Sir” Charles Njonjo as immaculate would be how the sky might attempt to describe the colour blue. It seems pointless and wasteful. But he seems to wear that adjective on his cuffs, doesn’t he?

At 95, he still remains regal and enigmatic— not to mention a celebrity; Kenya’s first Attorney-General for over 15 years, Member of Parliament for Kikuyu constituency, minister for Constitutional Affairs in the Moi government and, more recently, chairman of the East African Wildlife Society. Not to mention the prominent businessman tag.

Njonjo, who featured prominently (and powerfully) in the post-independence politics of Kenya, was known for his “hawkish” brand of politics and is often touted as one of the wealthiest men in Kenya.

In person, despite being five years shy of the centenarian tag, he refuses to be bowed by age (or man, for that matter). He remains resolute in his signature pinstripe suits and a blue checked shirt that he had on when I met him in his Westlands office. He was amusing, unapologetic, a straight-shooter, deliberate and astute.

What’s the story of that odd-looking bracelet on your wrist?

Oh this? This is an elephant bracelet. It’s a celebration and support of elephants. I wear it because I believe in the conservation of elephants. I believe we all have to save these animals for future generations.

What kind of a person were you in your prime; standing at the elbow of the bearded Jomo Kenyatta — the first Attorney-General of an independent republic, well-scrubbed in your pinstripe suit?

You know, I miss the discipline of that time. I miss the power I had, power that I could use for the common good. I miss the nation that we had then, a strong nation.

There is nothing that went on that we didn’t know about; we had the proverbial long arm of the law. We were always two steps ahead, we knew what conversation you had in your house the previous night.

What happened in Garissa recently would never have happened because we had total control of security.

What has changed over time for you, socially and politically?

What has really changed is this new Constitution that we have. It is good but at the moment, because we don’t understand it, it’s bad and it’s dangerous. It has brought a lot of misunderstanding, ambitions and greed for power.

All these governors and this paraphernalia that go with it; motorcade riders. It’s brought ugliness and pretence. The whole intention of our constitution was for government to be closer to the people. That hasn’t been the case.

Are you happy with the work of the Judiciary now?

No. (Pause) I think we have a lot of people there who are inexperienced. This is because of appointment of people who are not seasoned.

You were once a very powerful man. What did you learn about power and influence?

That you can use it and misuse it. I used it for good, I could have used it to destroy.

Did power change who you were?

No, it made me humble. Power can make you arrogant and ruthless.

How do you manage to maintain yourself like this at 95?

I look after myself. I swim daily, I used to do 12 laps, now I do only seven. I also have a bicycle which I ride for 10 minutes daily, on top of the treadmill which I do for 10 minutes daily. I’m also careful about what I eat; I don’t eat nyama choma, I eat a lot of veggies.

What is your greatest struggle in life now?

(Pause) I’m struggling about you and your Press. I get my paper at 6am and I read it until 7am and I just get depressed with what I read. Then I wonder why I bother reading this newspaper, to depress me? It’s a habit though.

Look, you have done well for yourself in life, but you still wear a suit every day and come here to work! When will you say this is enough, I won’t come to work anymore?

Maybe when I’m cremated. Otherwise I will wait until I cannot move a limb. As long as my feet can carry me, I will come here daily.

Do you think about death, do you fear dying?

No. Death is something you can face, why fear it? I don’t engage in that kind of thought and I don’t want anyone to raise money when I die… friends meeting at the cathedral… I don’t want any collection of money.

Just how much are you worth? Do you know?

I’m a poor man. I’m not worth anything.

I don’t drink much… if I’m to drink, it will be just a bottle of beer and maybe a cider, that’s it.

Ok, so you don’t drink. What’s your sin then?

My sin? (Thinks). I don’t sleep enough. I’m unable to do eight straight hours of sleep… that I regret because I’d love to have a deep sleep.

Because I’m thinking… and I’m worried… (Pause)… I’m thinking of things… you know, like what will you write about me after this? I debate with myself in bed.

What do you least like about Sir Charles Njonjo?

(Pause). I like myself… no, I really do.

Have you been a good father?

Because I have looked after my kids well, I have seen them through their education; one is a barrister, the other is a scientist and one is a veterinary doctor. They have turned out well, I think. I have given them what my father gave me, an education.

What was your limitation as a father?

(Laughs) You know, sometimes these kids argue with me, saying dad, this is not right, this isn’t supposed to be like this… my son was arguing with me last night from the UK. He doesn’t agree with what I say and I can’t force him, because that’s his position.

But him arguing or not agreeing with you isn’t your limitation, is it? What is yours?

That I can’t flog him… (chuckles)… I mean I can’t beat him up.

You would prefer to beat him up?

(Chuckle) No, I prefer to talk to him but he wasn’t listening, but in the end, I won the argument! (Laughs).

Do you have an inheritance plan in place, or will we be treated to a public circus of kids fighting for their father’s wealth when he’s long gone, like we have witnessed in the Kirima and Karume cases?

Yes, yes… we have sat together and they know what they will get and inherit. There is a will they can’t challenge and I advise our people to write wills because what we witness with the people you have mentioned is sad. If they were to come back to life today, I don’t know what they would say!

Why did you marry so late?

Because I couldn’t find a girl I could live with.

You? All those girls you must have met in Kenya and abroad? Not one single one you could live with?

All those girls [and] I couldn’t find one I could live with. It took me a long time but eventually, I found one and I married her at All Saints Cathedral… she was in the choir.

Were you looking for a choir girl?

No, she just happened to be in the choir. (Laughs).

Is Kenya worse now than it was in the 1960s?

Yes, even your shilling is worse off.

Your suits are an urban folklore. Is it true that you once had a suit that had your initials —CN — inscribed in the stripes?

Yes, I used to have that suit; bought it in London, tailored in London

That’s what I like — not a plain one like yours. (Grins)

I don’t even wear blazers, I did all this for you. Don’t you think I have tried?

Yes, you have tried but next time you come here without a tie, I will show you the door.

How many of those suits do you own?

What has been your greatest loss in life?

My greatest loss was the death of President Jomo Kenyatta. There was a man I followed and trusted and that’s the man who used to lead the country with a rungu(club) but at least we were united.

I could go to North Eastern and come back. You try and do that today, you’ll be back a corpse.

Who is your closest and most trusted friend?

Today? (Pause) I trust myself. It’s difficult to say, apart from my own family, the only man I trust is Richard Leakey. I hope he saves our wildlife with his new appointment (as chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Services). (Pause) Who is the editor of your paper?

That’s a lady… no, this is not the man who I’m thinking of who writes for you people, a nasty fellow who wrote an untrue story about my involvement in the CMC scandal.

You see, CMC Motors was a company started by Europeans to sell vehicles and the way they were doing it in those early years was that European employees used to get paid part of their salaries here and part in England to supplement their salaries and to maintain their way of life, but also to keep them interested in working here.

Some directors were being paid from overseas but your people picked that and said that was wrong. But it wasn’t only CMC that was doing it during that time. Many companies in East Africa were also doing it to maintain their European staff.

You must be referring to the audit report by Webber-Wentzel…

The audit by the South African company? (Dismissive wave). No, nothing to do with that. That money was kept in England and was done by the book. I didn’t take trouble replying to that news report, I treated it with contempt.

What is the most common question people ask you when they meet you?

They don’t ask me anything, they are usually intimidated. But you are a brave young man, asking me all these questions, I commend you for that. Thanks.

I’m not, I’m a factual man. I don’t imagine romance. I’m not going to engage in fantasies and things like that, nothing.

When you once went to Ronalo Foods in town for lunch with Raila, a cross-section of your tribesmen felt, at that time, that you were jumping in bed with the enemy, they felt betrayed…

(Long stare) Don’t Kikuyus eat ugali?… (Pause) Don’t they? Why can’t I eat ugali with Raila without it being turned into a cinema?

What are you reading now?

How do you fill your time?

I visit my coffee farm in Kiambu every evening. I also have a goat farm for milk. That occupies my time.

Where the devil lives, you don’t want to be on Facebook.

It’s a social media platform where people connect with friends and share things.

Is it a gathering of people at night? I don’t know these modern things. I don’t even know how to use a phone like this one you are using to record me… my phone only keeps numbers.

How much do you have on you right now?

What do you mean? As we speak?

Yes, in your wallet. I want to know how much a man like you walks around with in cash.

Let me check… [fishes out a wad of cash —guesstimate Sh10,000 — held together with a silver money clip].

(Laughs) Okay, this interview is over. You have enough.

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How drunk woman paid staggering Sh36,000 on Uber

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A drunk graduate had to cough up a staggering Sh36000 after forgetting to change her home address on Uber – and ordering a cab more than 300 miles in the wrong direction.

Helen Dryden, 25, enjoyed a boozy day out in Shoreditch, east London, with friends and ordered a cab to take her home afterwards.

She had hoped it would take her to Guildford, Surrey, but she forgot her Uber home setting was set to her previous address in Newcastle, 303 miles northeast.

And the bungling Newcastle University graduate fell asleep in the back of the cab and when she woke up an hour later she was 60 miles north – near Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.

The driver did a U-turn and eventually took Helen to Guildford, a journey which cost the woman Sh36,000.

“I couldn’t believe it. The whole day ended up costing me about Sh52,000,” she said.

“I feel so embarrassed. I was a bit too drunk and just fell asleep. I was devastated when I woke up. I feel really stupid and completely ridiculous.”I got too drunk. I’m supposed to be getting more responsible as I get older but it’s not happening so far.”

Helen had been drinking with two friends in Shoreditch and missed her last train home.Her only option – other than shelling out more than Sh13,000 for a hotel room – was to order an Uber for the 30-mile trip to Guildford for Sh10,000.She added:

“I fell asleep as soon as I got in the taxi. I woke up at Milton Keynes and I couldn’t believe it.”I thought I said I wanted to go to Guildford when I got in. But I can’t remember what his reply was.”He woke me up and said ‘are you sure you want to go to Newcastle?'”I said ‘what, no! Why would I want to go to Newcastle?’

I ended up getting home at about 4am.

“I take responsibility for it because I got too drunk. It’s the first time I’ve ever done something like this. I’m devastated by it. It’s too much money to comprehend.”To add insult to injury, Helen says she still hasn’t paid the bill because the card she paid on has insufficient funds.

The payment will be processed on pay day at the end of the month.Incredibly, Helen went out again on Saturday night and ordered an Uber home.

This time Helen made sure she asked to be taken home.An Uber spokeswoman said: “We are currently looking into this issue.”

source:the mirror

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Suspect behind car theft syndicate arrested in Umoja, two cars recovered

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Flying Squad detectives have arrested a suspect believed to be behind a car theft syndicate in Nairobi.

According to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the suspect, Duncan Ochieng Ouso, was arrested in an apartment in Nairobi’s Umoja Estate on Friday.

Two motor vehicles – a Toyota Premio and a Toyota Wish – were recovered during the arrest. The recovered vehicles are believed to have been stolen.

TWO 

The DCI have said the suspect is notorious for receiving stolen vehicles and repainting them. The suspect is set to be arraigned and charged in court on Tuesday.

Last week, police in Nairobi were trying to uncover the identity of car thieves who have been stealing car parts and abandoning the shells in desolate locations in the outskirts of the city.

The police suspect that the stolen car parts and accessories eventually end up in garages where other motorists purchase them without knowing their origin.

source:nairobinews

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Uhuru laughs uncontrollably as he mimics Gov Lunyangapuo’s “Kijana Mfupi Round” Remarks

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President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday imitated West Pokot Governor John Lunyangapuo‘s remarks where he described a local politician as “Kijana mfupi round meaning a short person with a round figure.

President Kenyatta met the governor during a visit to former President Daniel Moi‘s Kabarak home to deliver his condolence message following the death of Jonathan Moi.

The video shows Uhuru repeating Lonyangapuo’s statement as he gestures to illustrate a protruding belly.

President Uhuru Kenyatta with Senator Gideon Moi and Governor John Lonyangapuo at Kabarak on 22/04/19

The two then burst into laughter and proceed to shake hands.

President Uhuru Kenyatta with West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo at Kabarak on 22/04/19

The action provided much needed comic relief to the mourners who had gone to console Mzee Moi.

In the governor’s clip that went viral, the Lonyangapuo was clearly agitated by a man who was causing trouble for him.

Dennis Ruto, the man believed to have been the target of the joke, explained that at first when he heard the county head’s sentiments, he felt bad.

“At first I actually felt bad because that was body shaming that is criminal [sic] . But at the end of the day, I laughed it off,” he told Nation.

“I had raised the issue of the deputy governor who had been sworn in and had gone to the United States and why he is earning public funds and not delivering services” Ruto added.

Dennis disclosed that he had embraced the name Mulmulwas (something that is round like a ball) and even formed a movement with the same name.
Watch the video of Uhuru imitating Governor Lonyngapuo’s remarks below.

SOURCE-Kenyans.co.ke

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