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How Moi dealt with ‘rogue’ diplomats, he was no pushover

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Besides globetrotting and looking for new allies, former President Daniel arap Moi was no pushover and constantly clashed with western diplomats who tried to dictate to him.

Shortly after he took power, his Attorney General, Charles Njonjo, was implicated in the 1978 attempt to return deposed Seychelles President James Mancham back to power — a crisis that Moi handled swiftly.

The Cabinet termed the allegations “malicious and unfounded”, although it later emerged during the Charles Njonjo Inquiry in 1985 that the AG was privy to the coup.

In his presidency, Moi decided to work with the West and he received early accolades by being named the chairman of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). He held the position for two terms after Muamar Gaddafi’s bid for the seat failed.

The row between Kenya and Libya — and Moi never hid his disdain for Gaddafi — escalated to the expulsion of the Libyan Charge d’Affaires, Ahmed Arrajel, who was given seven days to leave the country.

Wafula Buke jailed The expulsion followed court disclosures that the Libyan Embassy had financed the November 1987 Students’ Organisation of the Nairobi University (Sonu) election

READ ALSO:   No commercial trucks on Nairobi – Eldoret highway during Moi funeral

where Wafula Buke had been elected chairman. Buke was jailed for five years for espionage, while some of his colleagues, including Miguna Miguna, escaped to exile via Tanzania.

The Libyan mission was also closed.

In 1987, Kenya also expelled Ugandan High Commissioner Charles Katungi and his deputy, S. Bigombe, after a week of border fighting between Kenyan police and Uganda’s National Resistance Movement soldiers. Kenya accused Uganda and Libya of attempting to destabilise the country. Katungi was accused by the Foreign minister, Zachary Onyonka, of “insulting” President Moi.

The next salvo was a row triggered by former Nakuru North MP Koigi wa Wamwere after he went into exile in Norway, joining a small team of activists stationed in Oslo and other Scandinavian countries.

The group was accused by President Moi of being behind “subversive

leaflets” that were being sent to Kenya and the Norwegian Ambassador, Niels Vahl, came under pressure to have the “dissidents” returned home.

In October and November 1990, Kenya finally severed diplomatic relations with Sweden and Norway for “harbouring a number of Kenyans hostile to the government”. Kenya was the first country to sever links with Norway in peace time.

While the Scandinavian countries were the pioneer supporters of pro- second liberation movements in Kenya, the Americans entered the fray, albeit late, with the arrival of journalist Smith Hempstone as the US ambassador as Kenyans agitated for political pluralism.

READ ALSO:   More than 10 heads of state to attend Moi’s burial 

“I told President Moi that there is change coming. It is happening all over the world and the question is not whether change is going to come or not …”

As Hempstone helped push the agenda, and as he would later lament, the British diplomats in Nairobi were getting uncomfortable with him. He said: “I was a little suspicious (of their conduct) … the three British High Commissioners who during my time, Sir John Johnson, Sir Roger Tomskys, Sir Kieran Prendergast, I suspect they were always trying to undercut me a bit with Moi as to suggest my motives were not good. This was my feeling.”

Megaphone diplomacy Hempstone, who was christened “nyama choma envoy” by Kanu publication Kenya Times, would meet the UK diplomats and they would throw the typical line: “Well, we believe in quiet diplomacy, not in megaphone diplomacy … it is as if I did nothing but shout.”

The US ambassadors who followed Hempstone — Madeline Albright and Johnny Carson — took a similar pattern.

What worried Britain, and they quietly said as much, was that they had large investments in Kenya and their trade with Nairobi was much larger than that of the US. “Finally, they did not want 40,000 Indians dumped on them if things went as they did in Uganda…,” said Hempstone after he left Kenya.

READ ALSO:   Mwili yangu si mzuri, I’m going to Nairobi and I don’t know whether I will come back: Moi to friends

The only diplomat who shared his feeling was Germany’s Bernd Mutzelburg. While the Scandinavians were small countries with little muscle, Mutzelburg came to Kenya (his first posting as ambassador) as Kenya prepared for its first multiparty election since 1966. For demanding transparency and prosecution of the corrupt, he rubbed the Kanu mandarins the wrong way.

But it is not only Western diplomats who found themselves on the receiving end. In 1995, Kenya expelled Rwandan envoy, Major Jacques Nziza, and his replacement, acting Charge d’affaires, Mr Igiraneza Theodomir, as Moi openly took sides in the Tutsi-Hutu wars.

Britain picked “megaphone diplomacy” later and Moi dismissed Sir Jeffery James as a “meddler” when he went to bid him bye.


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Lifestyle

Do you know this man caught on CCTV stealing laptop in Mirema flat? – VIDEO

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CCTV footage has emerged showing the moment a man stole a laptop from a house in a city flat.

The footage, captured last week, shows the unidentified male masquerading as a tenant of the flat and waiting as a tenant opens the gate door before he follows her in.

The man then starts going around the flat looking for any unlocked doors.

The suspect is seen moving floor after floor until he finally finds an unlocked door.

He then gets in and hastily makes away with a bag with what is understood to be a laptop.

Mr Muriithi, the landlord of Mufu Heights, which is located along Mirema Road in Nairobi, suspects that the man captured on CCTV could be working for a moving company.

Spotted in the apartment

He said that it was the second time the man had been spotted in the apartment. In the first incident, a tenant lost a wristwatch.

“We suspect that he works for a moving company and he helped a tenant to either move in or out and he came back and surveyed the building sometime in September. He has returned and a tenant has lost a laptop,” Mr Mureithi said.

He added that the victim had left the house without locking the door because his wife had forgotten her keys in the house.

READ ALSO:   No commercial trucks on Nairobi – Eldoret highway during Moi funeral

The matter was reported at Kasarani police station with members of the public being requested to help in identifying him.


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Lifestyle

Shock as man admits to killing his wife and her lover

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He came home, found his friend in bed with his wife, picked up a panga and murdered them in cold blood before handing himself over to the police.

At least that is what a 40-year-old suspect only identified as Lorumeta wants the police to believe after making a deranged and shocking entrance to Karuna Police Station while brandishing a bloodied machete with a murderous look in his eyes and babbling incoherently.

The incident has left residents of Karuna village in Moiben Sub-county in shock amid claims of a salacious love affair between the man’s wife and his friend.

Both Lorumeta and his friend were employed as casual labourers at Kaptebei Farm, locals said.

Members of the public who had gone to seek services at the station were forced to scamper to safety as police disarmed the suspect before locking him up in the cells.

Motive of murder 

On interrogation, Lorumeta told police he was fed up with his cheating wife’s shameless actions.

Confirming the Saturday afternoon incident, County Police Commander Ayub Ali said the bodies of Nancy Cheruto and Cheruiyot Lomorian, which had deep cuts, were taken to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary awaiting a postmortem examination.

READ ALSO:   No commercial trucks on Nairobi – Eldoret highway during Moi funeral

The police boss said investigations are underway to establish the facts. He said the suspect will be charged in court as soon as the investigations are complete.

“For now, the motive of this killing is yet to be known. We are not going to speculate as to the cause of this shocking murder until the investigations are complete,” said Mr Ali.

He added that police cannot rely on the allegations of the suspect until they conduct in-depth investigations.

by nation.co.ke


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Business

By going the solar route, I save Sh140,000 per month, says restaurateur

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Kenya Power was in the news recently complaining that their clients are increasingly transitioning to use of solar energy.

Solar has emerged as a favourite source of power to many homeowners due to its reliability and low cost compared to electricity.

But that is not limited to homes as businesses are also embracing solar energy.

One such business is the new Café Deli branch along Koinange Street.

When the restaurant relocated from Kenyatta Avenue in September, Mr Obado Obadoh, the Managing Director and founder of Nanjala Ltd –the parent company that owns the chain of restaurants — says he wanted to have glass roofing at his new establishment.

This, however, came with its challenges and the option turned out to be expensive since, apart from the glass roofing, they would need ultraviolet (UV) light protectors.

For humans, suntan and sunburn are familiar effects of exposure of the skin to UV light, along with an increased risk of skin cancer.

Solar panels are installed at New Cafe Deli along Koinange Street in Nairobi in this file photo.

Amina Wako | Nation Media Group

But, after consultations with experts, Mr Obado settled for solar panels.

READ ALSO:   More than 10 heads of state to attend Moi’s burial 

“When we were designing the Koinange Street branch, we had experts come in and give their opinions. With the Covid-19 situation, we were also looking for ways to cut costs. With solar, we spent less money than all the other available options,” Mr Obado told the Nation.

“When the costing was done by the quantity surveyor, it came down to almost half of what we would have spent on putting up the glass roof.”

Savings important

 

To Mr Obado, saving even a shilling means a lot and so solar was the welcome option.

“At the Kenyatta Avenue (branch), the cost of electricity per month was between Sh250,000 and Sh280,000. Based on the plan we have, we will use Kenya Power as a backup. This means we will save close to Sh140,000 which is half of what we used to pay before,” he said.

 Mr Omondi Lumbe, the electrical contractor who was in charge of the project, says he installed 96 panels on the roof that coves 250 square meters.

“The panels produce close to 33 kilowatts per hour and are in use for eight hours a day, hence produce close to 264 kilowatts daily,” said Mr Lumbe, who is a partner at Kev & Lum Construction and Electrical Company Ltd.

READ ALSO:   Behind the tough demeanour, Moi had a gentle soul

Solar panels are installed at New Cafe Deli along Koinange Street in Nairobi in this file photo.

Amina Wako | Nation Media Group

To avoid more spending, they opted to use solar power directly instead of using batteries to store more energy.

Today, Café Deli only relies on Kenya Power services for between three and four hours, which is mostly at night when the solar panels are off.

“We are only using Kenya Power at night for three to four hours. That means solar power will be used for most of our 12 hours,” Mr Obado said.

He also has plans to install the solar panels at his other branches on Moi Avenue and Nkurumah Lane, Behind Kencom in Nairobi’s Central Business District.

Business effects

 

This is, however, not the first time the businessman is opting to go the solar power route.

Six years ago, when he wanted to install electricity at his rural home in Busia, he says he was slapped with a quotation of Sh800,000.

“I thought about it and wondered why I would pay such a high figure, buy a transformer which is going to be Kenya Power’s property, and still pay them every month. I settled for solar panels and it’s a decision I don’t regret,” he said.

READ ALSO:   No commercial trucks on Nairobi – Eldoret highway during Moi funeral

According to Mr Obado, the high cost of power in Kenya has rendered businesses uncompetitive compared to other countries in East Africa.

The new Cafe Deli along Koinange Street in Nairobi, which uses solar energy.

Amina Wako | Nation Media Group

Café Deli has joined several companies, universities and factories that have turned to solar power  and, in the process, cut operational costs.

This, according to Kenya Power, has dealt a blow to their already dwindling finances.

“The company operated in a challenging environment over the financial year under review, where demand growth at 3.7 per cent remained below the projected level of five per cent. The dampened demand growth is further compounded by increased threats of grid defection by the industrial category as decentralised renewable energy options are becoming more available and cheaper,” Kenya Power revealed in its latest annual report.


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