From: ‘Judy Miriga’
Confederation Council Foundation for Africa Inc.,
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Pitson – Lingala Ya Yesu
Prezda Bandason – Christina & Beautiful Nyiluo
Madanji Perimeter & Maxwell -Christina
Odos Jasuba: Wendo
Aboy lanlord – Arossy
20ème Anniversaire – Franco & le T.P. O.K. Jazz 1976
Uhuru: Dialogue any time, but campaign later
On Friday, I hosted a huge delegation from the Kenya Private Sector Alliance for our quarterly roundtable. For the whole afternoon, we engaged in intensive discourse over a wide range of issues, and received reports on a multiplicity of initiatives aimed at making the business environment more conducive to greater productivity and competitiveness.
RAILA: We must talk, and this is why
One of the unfortunate assumptions that African countries have made in adopting western democracy is that those who get elected are infused by their victory with an omniscience that enables them to formulate solutions for all the country’s problems.
Stalemate as Cord, Jubilee leaders maintain hardline positions
The question on whether there should be a national dialogue conference as proposed by CORD seems to be generating more heat than light a week later.
Mudavadi offers to lead mediation on proposed national dialogue
After a year in the political cold, former Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi has finally asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to give him a chance as a mediator in the national dialogue that the opposition and Cord leader Raila Odinga has asked for.
Uhuru: Let’s go slow on politics, focus on growth
President Uhuru Kenyatta made a triumphant entry in former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s Nyanza backyard with calls on the opposition to stop blame games.
10 hours ago
Rejuvenated Muite is back and enjoying every bit of the game
By Nation Correspondent
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The recent involvement of veteran lawyer Paul Muite in a series of high-profile cases has led to suggestions that the former Kikuyu MP and unsuccessful presidential candidate is on the rise again after a trying period marked by the loss of political favour and financial challenges.
Muite, who was recently appointed by the Director of Public Prosecutions to carry out an independent assessment of the claims of wrongdoing surrounding the government’s acquisition of Malili ranch, has been the lawyer for the Judicial Service Commission, which he has represented in a number of high profile assignments, including before the committees of Parliament.
Muite has also acted in the legal proceedings spawned by the impeachment of Embu Governor Martin Wambora, and also for the Media Owners Association in the battle with the government over the switch to digital television.
Muite is one of the best known lawyers the country has ever produced. He was a fearless lawyer during the one-party era and represented several people considered enemies of the Kanu regime. Among his big cases at the time was the defence of the late George Anyona, Njeru Kathangu, Prof Edward Oyugi, and Isaiah Ngotho Kariuki in their trial for sedition in 1990, one of the last acts of tyranny before the Kanu regime caved in to pressure for multiparty politics.
In the same year, Muite was elected chair of the Law Society of Kenya, an event that coincided with great political activity as the forces of reforms fought for a resumption of multiparty politics, which Kanu fiercely resisted.
Muite was one of the actors behind the Kamukunji rally held that year, which demanded a resumption of multiparty politics. Charles Rubia and Kenneth Matiba were detained without trial after the rally, and Gibson Kamau Kuria fled the country to avoid a similar fate.
While it was widely expected that Muite would also be detained, he turned up at State House instead, accompanied by his wife, for dialogue with Moi. The mystery remains how he managed to arrange all that and to avoid detention himself.
Before multiparty politics resumed in 1992, Muite had teamed up with opposition figures, including the Opposition leader Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, to form the Forum for Restoration of Democracy (Ford), which Jaramogi chaired, with Muite as the vice-chair. When Ford was transformed into a political party, it splintered into Ford Kenya led by Jaramogi, and Ford Asili, led by Matiba, after the leaders failed to agree on a presidential flagbearer.
Muite stuck with Ford Kenya, becoming its vice-chair, and supported Jaramogi’s presidential candidature in the country’s first multiparty elections. He has written on his website that “Jaramogi had wanted Muite to be his successor as leader of the party.” Although Jaramogi lost his presidential bid in the 1992 elections, Muite was elected MP for Kikuyu.
In Parliament, Muite was one of the five members referred to as the Young Turks, who were regarded to be pursuing a progressive agenda in the House. In the later stages, he served as chair of the Legal Affairs Committee, a position to which he brought much of his vigorous style. It is thought that the subsequent chairs of this committee have heavily been influenced by Muite’s style in the manner in which they seek to lead it.
One of the issues that Muite had championed while chairing the LSK was accountability for the Goldenberg scandal that broke out during his term. Amid a refusal by the government to take action against the perpetrators of the scandal, Muite led the society in bringing a private prosecution against Kamlesh Pattni, who it has since been established, was the architect of the multi-billion-shilling scandal.
Muite’s charisma and reputation as a fearless lawyer and his credentials as a national leader, illustrated by his decision to side with Jaramogi — seen as the face of the progressive forces — positioned him as a serious presidential contender in future.
But this image crumbled when in 1999 Pattni sensationally claimed that Muite had shaken him down for a bribe of Sh20 million in return for immunities in the Goldenberg scandal. When Muite denied the allegation, LSK under the leadership of Nzamba Kitonga constituted an independent probe of two senior members of the Society, Benjamin Okuom, and Philip Ransley, to look into the allegation.
The probe concluded that the payment of Sh15 million had been established.
This money was paid by several cheques in favour of third parties following Muite’s instructions. The panel found that the balance of Sh5 million allegedly paid in cash to Muite could not be substantiated.
These allegations were to prove a severe blow to Muite’s political standing. Although he went on to serve as MP for Kikuyu for three terms, it is considered that the substance of his national appeal was effectively shattered by the allegations.
Although Muite maintains his innocence up to today, the claims by Pattni have inflicted lasting damage on his stature and are viewed as a glass ceiling on his presidential ambitions.
After losing his seat in 2007, Muite went into a political wilderness, during which the only news about him was the two attempts by auctioneers to throw him out of his home, which was to be sold to recover a debt owed to a bank.
In an interview with the media, Muite did not dispute the debt but contended that the sale was orchestrated by President Kibaki and his wife Lucy as punishment for daring to oppose some of the President’s political actions.
Muite also accused the bank of bad faith in seeking to sell his home at a gross undervalue compared with the debt claimed.
It did not matter that the auctioneers were eventually unsuccessful in their attempts to sell Muite’s home. The spectacle on national television, of Muite’s household items, strewn all over his compound by the auctioneers who had been repulsed by Muite’s men, confirmed how far the great lawyer had fallen.
Thereafter, Muite ran for president on a Safina ticket, in last year’s General Election, positioning himself as a candidate who stood for principle, a reminder of the Muite of old. In his campaigns, he threw barbs at the two main contenders, Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta, who was declared the winner, and in the process reducing some of the polarising effect these two candidates had in the elections.
Analysts consider Muite’s decision to run a desperate attempt to remain relevant in greatly changed circumstances.
His historical position made it unseemly for him to run for his former seat of MP in Kikuyu which, moreover, he stood little chance of winning unless he aligned himself with the dominant TNA party in the area.
Muite’s otherwise irrelevant presidential candidature was given prominence by the debates that the media organised, initially among a select number of candidates, excluding him.
However, Muite obtained a court order that forced the media to accept him in the debate, and the occasion provided him the opportunity to display his considerable oratory skills bring his candidature some attention.
In March 2013, only days after the announcement of the results in the hotly disputed elections, Muite joined three other losing presidential candidates in a delegation that paid a courtesy call on Kenyatta, the President-elect. The other candidates in the delegation were James Kiyiapi, Musalia Mudavadi and Hussein Dida. Those who stayed away were Peter Kenneth, Martha Karua and Raila.
The timing was significant because the petition filed by Raila challenging the declaration of Kenyatta as the winner was then under way at the Supreme Court. The meeting was part of a series of activities carried out by the President-elect that were viewed as calculated to remove the sting from the electoral challenge he was facing in court by presenting his election as a fait accompli.
The meeting was seen as an endorsement of Kenyatta and undermined Raila’s petition.
Muite used the occasion to state that election petitions would not help the country and that he was ready to work with the government if the opportunity was offered to him.
The Malili ranch saga contains allegations against the current LSK chair Eric Mutua. The appointment of Muite to carry out the Malili probe places him in judgment over the leadership of the society that once carried out a probe against him after Pattni’s allegations.
One problem that Muite will confront when he probes Malili is why his results, especially if they implicate anybody, should be accepted by the parties when he rejected as false the results of the probe against him based on Pattni’s allegations.
Whatever the case, it looks like Muite is back in a big way and is now at the centre of national activities as he was in the 1990s. And, as always, controversy is never far behind him.