Something interesting and noteworthy happened at Alliance High School on May 18. Just before President Uhuru Kenyatta gave a little speech, he asked Kiambu Governor William Kabogo to correct an error of omission he appeared to have made when he spoke earlier.
This, said the President, was necessary if he was to avoid his impeachment by the County Assembly of Kiambu the following morning- essentially to avoid the sort of thing that has ended with Martin Nyaga Wambora spending more time with his lawyers and in the corridors of the High Court seeking orders, this second time in vain, to stop his impeachment.
This Wednesday morning, the relatively unknown Governor of Kericho, Prof Paul Chepkwony will start the process Wambora went through- telling a committee of the Senate about himself, his supposed innocence and why he thinks the Senators should save his life. He’ll be hoping he is not made to look evil, corrupt and politically inept and arrogant in the manner of his embarrassed colleague from Embu.
Back to Alliance, where Kabogo was quick to the microphone and then, repeating that he was only doing it to avoid being impeached, he introduced the Speaker of the County Assembly, the County Executive Committee member in charge of Education and several County Assembly members who had followed the President’s entourage to that famous school. That was all he did before the President continued with his speech but the essence of his actions might have been lost to many.
Kabogo and to a certain extent Uhuru were engaging in good old kinyururi. Kinyururi, pronounced kay-nyaw-raw-ree, is a Kikuyu expression for sarcasm, although sarcasm is not really the word for that kind of thing. Kinyururi is what makes people use puckered lips and a twisted mouth to point at someone. Only Kyuks do that and I have had a hell of a good time explaining to some friends how this works and what enables it to work. Kinyururi enables you to spit when you meet your enemy on the street.
One resorts to kinyururi when they have no other weapon available to make the subject aware of their indifference. It is also the kind of thing you cannot prove, much the same way as arrogance.
Kabogo’s kinyururi, for me, goes to illustrate the disdain with which some governors hold the County Assembly Members, known as MCAs, they are accountable to.
People like Kabogo have had to hold closed-door meetings with their MCAs to quiet them down. After that came the many trips to Israel to see the many places where Jesus visited.
It is the same story across many counties, and we could tell at the Governors’ Summit in Naivasha earlier this year that many of the county bosses are unhappy with their MCAs.
I know that Peter Kaluma has a problem with one he met, a Leader of Minority in the assembly he sits in who also happens to be the head of the curiously named Committee on Delegation Legislation. He is a Form Two graduate and would refer you to someone else or another county if you asked who the head of the Committee on Delegated Legislation is. Yet he has a driver and a big car and is the person to look for when the county government gazettes its high rates.
What Kaluma, Kabogo and Kenyatta are telling us is simple and fairly straightforward- we need a higher standard for our MCAs and we can start by demanding that they have a little more education when they come seeking votes. Otherwise, they’ll remain a pain in the bottom and all we shall have for them is pointless kinyururi.