MCA: How my plans to copy former President Moi’s style flopped
Monday, February 10th, 2020
Of the many stories told about the late retired President Daniel Moi, the one I liked most was how he discouraged his loyalists from bearing false witness against one another.
It is said when any of his close associates had an accusation against a colleague, the man from Sacho would give the accuser an appointment at State House to kufungua roho. On this day, the accused would also be invited to State House, but asked to arrive earlier. He would then be told to get into a room next to the main parlour and wait in there. From that room, he would hear everything being said in the parlour.
Unaware of the presence of the accused, the accuser would then be ushered in and asked to toboa. In an effort to prove himself the most loyal, the accuser would of course badmouth the colleague and tear his reputation into shreds. After listening keenly to the accusations, Uncle Dan would then call out the name of the accused. To the accuser’s shock, the accused would walk into the parlour.
“Umesikia mengi yamesemwa kukuhusu. Sasa jitetee,” the accused would be told. It is said after such encounters, loyalists would think twice before taking any kiherehere to the boss. I found this style so brilliant that I once tried to use it —with disastrous results.
Two of my henchmen, Nzaya Nzayadio and Mokonyonyo Spoiler were always badmouthing each other. So, borrowing from Uncle Dan’s wisdom, I invited the two to my office. I asked Mokonyonyo to arrive earlier. Although I did not have a room in which he could hide and listen to his accuser, I thought my office washroom would do.
“Mokonyonyo, I have called you here because I want you to hear what your friend Nzaya has to say about you, in your absence. So you will get into that room and listen, sawa?” Moks obediently walked into the washroom.
A few moments later, Nzaya arrived. “My friend, I have invited you here because today, I want you to tell me everything about this fellow Mokonyonyo. You see, you are the only friend I trust,” I told him.
The man let out a long deep sigh and began: “Mheshimiwa, this man Mokonyonyo is not as bad as you think. He is worse. In fact, I think he is related to Judas. If you are not careful, he will finish you kabisa.”
“How?” I asked.
Nzaya looked at me piteously. “This man is a spy. He reports all your plans to Alfalfa.” The mention of that name unsettled me. Alfalfa is a man whose only ambition in life is to dislodge me from my position as ward rep. He has tried all tricks in the book, but I have proved invincible. Of late, he has resorted to dragging my reputation in the sewage by spreading malicious rumours about my marital life. So to hear that one of my trusted lieutenants is working in cahoots with him is frightening.
“You mean he is a friend to Alfalfa?”
“Yes. Even now they are together, I tell you. I have just seen them driving out of town.”
At this moment, I resisted the strong temptation to tell off this fake informer, but decided I could as well entertain myself.
“Let me tell you the truth now,” Nzaya said. I again felt like asking him if what he had been saying all along was not the truth. “There is a Kiswahili saying that ‘hasidi hana sababu’. This means an enemy has no reason. Mokonyonyo and Alfalfa are your enemies, and they don’t need a reason to harm you. They just want to finish you.” Nzaya the lowered his voice. “They might even poison you.”
Concerned that Mokonyonyo, in his hideout, would not hear the words, I asked Nzaya to speak louder. “This man is planning to poison you, mheshimiwa,” Nzaya shouted.
At this moment, to my horror, Mokonyonyo burst out of the washroom. Apparently, he could not contain himself any longer.
“Nzaya, what are you saying?” He snarled, approaching his accuser menacingly. Nzaya was petrified. His lips were trembling.
“Nzaya, what are you saying about me?” Moks roared.
Were it not for my swift action, my office would have been a crime scene. All because of copying President Moi’s style blindly. Ningeambia watu nini?