Waheshimiwa convened on Thursday to dish out jobs, a noble gesture in the prevailing economic strain. To ensure only the most deserving candidates were selected, the only qualifications were possessing the right surname and one’s political history.
Courtesy of the first qualification, most of the nine selected to join the East African Legislative Assembly sailed through, Baba’s daughter Winnie and Man Stevo’s son Kennedy included.
Men and women who had vowed in August to put an end to the “dynasties” had a road to Damascus moment and realised it was better to retain “institutional memory”, perhaps a hereditary quality.
The two were not the only ones who had the right name, it was later revealed. Some would benefit from a renewed nationalism by a host of wahesh from the Mt Kenya region, who had vowed to back one of “their own.”
And they would defy a lineup of Kenya Kwanza Alliance, which became apparent as the votes were counted, with many only voting for those with whom they might share a village.
It did not matter whether the candidate had said bad things about hustlers, or they had held Baba’s hiking pole as he attempted to scale Mt Kenya. There comes a time that the community is more important than the individual.
Political history had an equal influence on voting. To land the EALA job, one must have lost an election or two, which in political parlance is referred to as being “rejected at the ballot”.
Former Kieni mhesh Kanini Kega and Hassan Omar, who lost the bid to inherit the 001 title, seemed to have had a leakage. Not much so for Jeremiah Kioni, who had to endure the pain of rejection twice within the year.
All the 27 candidates for the EALA job would have been on the same boat had the wahesh followed through with their threats to go on strike.
Yes, it has everything to do with the CDF not being in their accounts. Treasury Waziri Njuguna Ndung’u on Wednesday promised to release Sh2 billion weekly, but only if Attorney General Justin Muturi approves it.
The wahesh thought they had seen the last of their former speaker. They were wrong. And they were evidently irked when Prof Ndung’u said he needed Muturi’s opinion on releasing the funds. Suna East MP Junet Mohamed suggested they should sabotage the supplementary budget if the CDF isn’t released, saying “it was the only language the Executive would understand.”
Perhaps they would have threatened to stop the vetting of Hustler’s Principal Secretary nominees. Oops, the courts did that already.