Category Archives: Robert Ouko

What If? Ouko

The what if? (they had lived) question is asked sometime after a prominent person has died. E.g. If Kennedy had not been killed, would he have committed the US to war in Vietnam or to civil service reforms that ended segregation? Would Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Abraham Lincoln, and others changed their messages if they had lived longer?

And what if Robert Ouko was not killed in 1990. How would he have reacted to the multi-party movement a year later? Would he have defended the Government so eloquently? And in the multi-party elections of two years later, would he have stuck with KANU and be whitewashed by the electorate of Nyanza? Or would he have joined FORD? How would he have reacted to the co-operation between the Odinga’s and KANU five years later, or later to the Rainbow movement? And where would he fit in today’s political world that revolves around Raila?

Your tax shillings at work

Meru Park upgrade: Meru National Park will get a facelift that will cost 1 billion shillings. It will involve the construction of roads, buildings, fencing, and the movement of wildlife. It will be funded by the Government of Kenya, with the support of the French Development Agency

Ouko no cash: The Ouko Commission in London is caught in a cash crunch, as the Clerk of the National Assembly, has ordered them to wind up work and return to Kenya, as their stay is proving to be too expensive. Nation TV estimates that airfare cost 1 million shillings, living expenses have cost 2.7 million, and contingency costs have amounted to 1.7 million during the one, and only planned for, week that the Commission has been in London. They have been holding sessions at the Kenya High Commission, interfering with their work, and have requested a second week there. Surely the video link would have been cheaper

Men: beware of short calls: The Nairobi City Council is now arresting people seen urinating in bushes/road sides. They say they are enforcing a by-law, but is truly a money-making grab by a city that provides almost no services, yet collects taxes in so many novel ways – people caught are thrown into a council truck and taken to court where they are fined 1,000 or 2 weeks in jail if they can’t afford. However, the cost of enforcement, prosecution and punishment is likely to exceed any gains.

MP’s Behaving Badly

Gor Sunguh, Chairman of the Ouko Parliamentary Committee has announced that the committee would travel to London (at our expense of course) to hear the testimony of Inspector Troon. He said that a video conference of the witness (at 400,000 an hour) was too expensive and that Kenya could not guarantee Troon’s security.

Considering what happened to State guest, Ngugi wa Thiongo, last year, I would not blame him. But Sunguh’s excuse is lame – video conferencing is not that expensive, and it is being used by immigrants to see/talk to family members to communicate with family members. The Committee will probably blow out their budget with hotels, per diems, entertainment, and special sitting allowances. Committee members who have otherwise boycotted the hearings or resigned will probably take this trip. The Committee should insist on hearing Troon here, by having the Police take charge of his security – instead of taking an expensive London holiday (what if he refused to talk to them?)

Meanwhile the MP of Bumula, Mr. Wakoli Bifwoli stumbled upon a meeting and vowed not to sign any future loan agreements with the World Bank, arguing that his constituency was one of the most underdeveloped in the country. “Bumula remains underdeveloped, with little economic activity, and my people are poor.”