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REVEALED: White House Secret meeting that shaped Kenyan politics

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President Daniel Arap Moi held a secret meeting at the White House with US President George W. Bush months before he left office as he sought assurances over his personal safety if he ceded power in a smooth transition, the Sunday Nation can reveal.

In “an act of good faith” after he returned to Kenya, the former President met the top military brass in a symbolic “handover” ahead of the December 2002 General Election to show that he had no intention of clinging on to power, according to his long-serving and trusted official, Dr Sally Kosgei.

WEEPING

“What it meant is that, even if he (Moi) wanted to stay in power, he could barely do so without the military as he had abdicated his duties as the commander in chief of the armed forces,” Dr Kosgei, an insider and powerful figure in the Moi administration, told the Sunday Nation in an exclusive interview. Dr Kosgei, the one-time Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet, who was sacked in what she says is a humiliating manner, also reveals that unlike previous proclamations that Moi wanted to cling on to power, the then Head of State had prepared for his exit for almost five years after cruising to victory in the 1997 General Election.

Dr Kosgei sat at the nerve centre of the State power machinery from where she spent years writing and drafting letters, notes and other documents for the Cabinet and State House. She watched the last moments of the 24-year reign of the Moi presidency that ended with the handover of power to Mr Mwai Kibaki in 2003.

Dr Kosgei was famously captured on television weeping at State House as the Kenya Air Force helicopter was just about to lift President Moi out of the premises to his Kabarak home, a symbolic final flight marking the end of his iron-fisted rule.

 

INFLUENCE

“Although he wanted a smooth and organised transition of power, some people went to great lengths to ruin it,” she reveals, stating that finer details of the last days of the Moi presidency will be contained in her memoir which she is finalising. Dr Kosgei says that the former President gave his last speech as president-elect after he won the 1997 General Election after which he set in motion plans for his succession.

READ ALSO:   Former President Moi leaves for medical check up in Israel

“His speech after winning the 1997 General Election was largely about him leaving office. He didn’t want to stay in office even for one extra day,” she recalls. Things would move further during a meeting in the US where President Moi received an award for conducting a successful vaccination campaign.

“It is during that award ceremony when we made final plans to have the President (Moi) hold a meeting with President Bush at the White House about his succession, safety and protection if he left power willingly,” she recalls. According to insiders, the former President sought the meeting as they believed that Western nations wielded a lot of influence on political succession, especially in Africa.

Other than Dr Kosgei, the only other person who attended the secret White House meeting in 2002 was then Energy Cabinet minister Chris Okemo.

RUMOURS

Dr Kosgei says that President Bush was concerned about the tendency of African leaders to cling on to power whenever their terms came to an end and wanted Mr Moi to lead by example by voluntarily relinquishing the presidency when the time came. Although the constitution barred Mr Moi from seeking a third term, fears were rife, especially within the opposition and civil society groups, that Moi would borrow a leaf from other long-serving African strongmen and declare himself a president for life.

This is because he had severally been on record saying that he could not find anybody with the skills to rule the country. Despite Mr Moi’s several public declarations that he would retire at the end of that year, rumours that he was scheming to stay on persisted.

The rumours were based on the “strongman syndrome” across Africa which saw many presidents refuse to step down, occasionally leading to bloody coups. They included Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh, Ivory Coast’s Laurent Gbagbo, Gabon’s Omar Bongo and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak who all clung to power and had to be swept aside through popular uprisings.

READ ALSO:   Richard Nixon Library releases photos of then Kenyan Vice President Moi visiting White House in 1969

SURPRISE

Mr Bush’s assurance that the US would guarantee his safety once he handed over power in a peaceful transition emboldened the retired president to proceed with his succession plan.

On Sunday July 28, 2002, Moi declared publicly for the first time that Uhuru Kenyatta, who was then the Local Government minister, was his preferred choice as Kanu’s presidential candidate while addressing a delegation from Lugari constituency.

“It was a surprise to many people including me on how he arrived at Uhuru Kenyatta,” Dr Kosgei recalls.

A day before the announcement, Transport minister Musalia Mudavadi had become the first of the three Kanu vice chairmen to announce his intention to be the party’s presidential flag-bearer. Other Kanu presidential hopefuls included Kalonzo Musyoka, Raila Odinga, Katana Ngala and George Saitoti.

In October 2002, Moi held a low-key Moi Day celebrations, a departure from his well attended national day events he was known for. Unbeknownst to the public, the President had also set in place a team that was to oversee the political transition. This team met regularly, drafted a programme for the handover ceremony and swearing in of the new president and even invited foreign dignitaries including heads of state who would attend the historic event. Among the issues that the transition team was tasked with was preparing for a smooth handover ceremony and helping the incoming administration to set up a government.

HANDOVER

By October 2002, the team that met regularly from 6am to 8pm , had already prepared two speeches which Moi would read during the handover ceremony, the first one in the event of a victory for his candidate, in this case Mr Kenyatta, and the second in the event of a defeat. The team comprised then Attorney General and current Busia senator Amos Wako, spymaster Wilson Boinnet, Chief Justice Bernard Chunga and Dr Kosgei who was the head. The other two members of the team were then Chief of General Staff Joseph Kibwana and police commissioner Philemon Abong’o. The existence of the team was only made public on December 17, 2002.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Did you miss the public viewing of Moi's body at Parliament? Here is the footage

A few weeks before the 2002 General Election, President Moi met military commanders to ensure they were all on the same page in terms of the handing over. The 2002 elections brought to an end Kanu’s 39-year stranglehold on power in a unique ballot.

HUMILIATING

“For the first time in Kenya’s post-colonial history, the country faced an election in which the incumbent president was barred by the constitution from seeking re-election. The president identified his preferred heir, pushed him beyond the party nomination stage triggering a split in the ruling party, and seemed determined to see him triumph in the general election at whatever cost,” writes Dr Patrick Asingo in the book “The Politics of Transition in Kenya from KANU to NARC.”

The election returned a humiliating defeat for Kanu with the opposition candidate Mwai Kibaki capturing nearly two thirds of the vote and his coalition winning a huge majority in parliament.

The list of those defeated at constituency level read like the who-is-who in Kanu led by Moi’s last Vice President Mudavadi and 14 cabinet ministers. Dr Kosgei claims that meticulous arrangements for a colourful swearing-in ceremony were ruined by politicians who wanted to embarrass the outgoing president.

PLUNDERING

On the day of the handing over ceremony, Dr Kosgei claims that Mr Kibaki got delayed for hours over unknown reasons, creating anxiety.

“This is what forced Moi to drive himself to Uhuru Park so as to hand over the instruments of power,” she claims.

In his address, Mr Kibaki, who never gave a chance to the retiring president to say goodbye to the people he had led for 24 years, warned that Mr Moi’s cronies could face charges for plundering billions of shillings from state coffers.

Speaking from a wheelchair, the President-elect said; “I have inherited a country that has been ravaged by years of misrule,” as Moi listened.

-Nation.co.ke


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Deep-Dive Analysis: Studying Master’s At Alabama A&M University

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BY BOB MWITI

Have you ever wondered what it takes to study your master’s in America?. Well, in this episode of Success With Bob Mwiti Show, I take a deep-dive analysis of taking your master’s at Alabama A&M University. If you like my work, please subscribe to my YouTube channel

A Little Bit About Me!

I am a former international student in USA and I am a senior IT consultant in the areas of Oracle EBS Financials and Robotics Process Automation (RPA) here in USA. I am the programs director of Appstec America – A consulting company based in Tampa, Florida, USA.

I’ve been blessed to have learned a lot in my career as an IT consultant. My life has truly changed, and I’ve made it my mission to give back and serve others beyond myself. Whether that be helping you to relocate to USA as an international student, train you as an IT consultant, help you start and build your own online business, creating your financial freedom, motivating you to pursue your goals and dreams, to being more productive, to inspiring you to constantly improve yourself.

My mission is to get you to wake up to the unlimited potential within you and achieve what you’re truly capable of through my various self-development training programs.On the internet, I openly and passionately share my life experiences and all of the very best concepts, strategies, tools, and resources that I continue to discover that have made a measurable difference to my life, and will do for you as well.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Moi's secret on why he divorced wife Lena after 24 years of Marriage

Keep your dream alive and never give up! To learn about my company’s amazing programs, please go to;

www.appstecamerica.com or www.successwithbobmwiti.com

Contact me at;
success@successwithbobmwiti.com
info@appstecamerica.com
+1 813-573-5619 ext 402


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GoGreenNaOptiven KAMATA 20K PAP!

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The year 2020 has stretched us in many ways! It has thrown to us numerous twists and turns, while offering us a number of highs and many lows.

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The toughest 9 months: I was pregnant with cancer

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She peed in a cup at the health centre, praying that the chemotherapy was not bringing up other health problems. She had walked into the facility after feeling worse than usual. Chemotherapy effects were bad, but this morning she felt worse. She just wanted to be fine, then she would finally start enjoying her new marriage.

A few moments later, the young medical officer walked up to her with a smile. “You have nothing to worry about. You are pregnant,” he said calmly. Jackline Kanyua was not sure how to feel about the news. On one hand she was happy, motherhood did not seem like a far-fetched dream anymore.

But again, her doctor had told her that avoiding pregnancy as she went through her cancer treatment was the best thing for her health. Heck, her monthly period had even disappeared. But the doctor had assured her that the chemotherapy and the drugs she took were enough to cause that.

Yet here she was, in 2017, in her mid-20s, newly married, pregnant but with cancer; Stage 3 breast cancer that needed aggressive treatment. The journey had all began a few months earlier when she felt a tight hard lump in her breast while singing in the shower. She had been planning her wedding then. What luck? she mused.

World over, according to the World Health Organisation, one in 1,000 mothers find themselves in the very same quagmire as Jackline. And just like Jackline’s doctor, other medics warn that pregnancy could complicate cancer treatment, just as much as cancer treatment interferes with pregnancy.

Andrew Odhiambo, a Nairobi-based consultant oncologist, advises that once a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, the safest option is to avoid pregnancy.

“Getting pregnant presents serious challenges, but even the treatment itself can cause a stoppage in menstrual flow,” says Dr Odhiambo.

The biggest dilemma presented, he explains, is whether to stop treatment and carry the pregnancy to term or to terminate the pregnancy and continue with medication. If chemotherapy has to start immediately, especially in advanced cancer stages, then termination has to be done. In fact, doctors recommend that women on treatment for cancer should be on contraception until some period after the end of treatment.

READ ALSO:   WATCH LIVE TV: President Moi's Funeral Service at Nyayo stadium [VIDEO]

“Carrying the pregnancy means stopping treatment, especially radiation or chemotherapy. Surgery can only be done after the second trimester. We always advise women to consider freezing their eggs and probably using them later once treatment is done,” Odhiambo says.

A 2019 study published in PubMed Central (PMC) affirms that radiation can be dangerous and that only non-ionising imaging methods are preferred to reduce exposure to the foetus.

“Unfortunately, not many medications can be safely used during pregnancy and mother should be exhaustive in thought about potential risks and complications of those systemic treatments,” the study states.

At the time when Jackie found out she was pregnant, she had had 10 chemotherapy sessions and a lumpectomy.

To navigate this new development, the couple made an appointment with their doctor at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), where tough decisions had to be made. The doctor gave her two options; to keep the baby and forget about the treatment or terminate the pregnancy and continue with her treatment. And being at cancer stage 3 at the time of diagnosis, this was a decision she had to make fully aware of the risks.

Abort or not?

“Keeping the baby was a huge risk but I decided to go for it. I told them that I did not require any time to think about anything because this was the best gift I could have. Or I could even give to my new husband. So I quickly signed the consent forms to stop treatment,” she recalls.

With pregnancy, several changes occur in a woman’s body. They include a drop in the number of lymphocytes that act as defence against foreign objects, including disease-causing pathogens.

“A pregnant woman naturally has increasing levels of oestrogen hormone. But these increasing levels, in the case of a pregnant woman with cancer, have a potential of accelerating breast cancer. Now add to the fact that you have stopped treatment, this can get too bad too fast,” says Dr John Ongech, a consultant gynaecologist.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: What killed Jonathan Moi?

Jackline’s first trimester was, however, uneventful despite treatment having stopped. The fifth month of pregnancy, however, turned into a nightmare, as her right breast, which had undergone surgery, burst, becoming a raw open wound. She could not, however, be put on medication because of the growing foetus.

“The wound festered and smelled so horrible. The only way to care for the wound was using water and no drugs. My husband, Jude, had to stay home to take care of me. One of the women from church came visiting and found me in such a deplorable condition that she decided to take us into her home to provide care,” says jackline.

Unbearable pain

When Jackline was six months pregnant she had had enough and told her husband that they had to terminate the pregnancy.

“The pain was unbearable, and the wound didn’t seem to be healing. The cancer seemed to be growing and I wanted to resume treatment.”

And so they booked and paid Sh15,000 for the procedure.

“When we got to the KNH procedure room and I saw the devices that were to be used, I literally ran and called my husband once I was ‘safely’ seated inside a bus headed to the CBD,” she says.

A week later, facing unbearable pain, Jackline and Jude went back to have the pregnancy terminated, the second time. This was never to be, since when they got to hospital she changed her mind, again.

“I remember asking the attendants what they thought was the worst thing that could happen to me now that I had cancer, and their answer was “death”. I also asked them what was the worst that could happen if I carried the pregnancy to term. Their answer was still “death”. I was then ready to give up my life for my baby.”

On noting her dogged determination and the excruciating pain she was in, the medics suggested that she carries the pregnancy to seven months and then she could deliver preterm and have the baby put in incubation.

Pain notwithstanding that seemed like the best choice she had. And so, it would be. At seven months, labour was induced and baby Zawadi made her entrance into the world. The distressed baby would be whisked off to the ICU immediately to begin her recovery. As for her mother, aggressive treatment would resume. Luckily, Zawadi made a good recovery and was moved to the nursery and later to the paediatric ward.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Moi's secret on why he divorced wife Lena after 24 years of Marriage

Two months later, mother and baby were back home, where new challenges awaited.

“Due to my medication, I could not breastfeed Zawadi and she had to depend on formula milk,” says Jackline.

All was going on well, until April this year when a cycle of chemotherapy and trouble struck again.

“Because I was lactating, yet the milk was not being consumed, the infected breast started having complications and I had to begin treatment once more.”

Doctors also discovered that the previous surgery had not completely removed the cancerous cells and they had to go in again. Her latest session of chemotherapy ended in October, after which Jackline was taken in for a mastectomy. She is recovering.

“This will be followed by another round of radiation to kill any remaining cancerous cells. I need close to ShI million for that. I have Sh450,000 already, thanks to support from well-wishers after I was featured on comedian MC Jessy’s show. I am hopeful that it will work out, and I will be here for my baby and husband,” she says.

This may have worked out for Jackie, but doctors caution that hers was a big risk they would not encourage because of the potential for fast spread of cancer cells, a complication that would mean she would be on lifelong treatment, or just die.

“Also, pregnancy while with cancer has been linked with a likelihood of recurrence of the cancer,” says Dr Ongech.

As Jackline cradles her baby, with a smile, as the interview comes to a close, it is clear that it was worth the risk.

“My baby was the best choice I made. It will be fine.”

by STandardmedia.co.ke


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