Monday, September 3, 2012

Mutua leads exodus of state officers joining politics

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka (centre) flanked by the Minister for Eduation Mutula Kilonzo (right) welcomes the former government spokesman Alfred Mutua to the Wiper party on September 3, 2012 at Jogoo house. PHOTO / JENNIFER MUIRURI

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka (centre) flanked by the Minister for Eduation Mutula Kilonzo (right) welcomes the former government spokesman Alfred Mutua to the Wiper party on September 3, 2012 at Jogoo house. PHOTO / JENNIFER MUIRURI 

By OLIVER MATHENGE [email protected]

After eight years of mostly defending the state and often attracting the anger of Kenyans, Dr Alfred Mutua has quit as the first government spokesman to concentrate on politics.

Dr Mutua has declared interest in the Machakos Governor seat and on Monday was officially received as a member of Wiper Democratic Movement by its presidential hopeful Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.

Dr Mutua made the move as the deadline for civil servants who wish to join politics to quit reached.

There were multiple resignations across government on Monday as those affected rushed to beat the deadline set by the Elections Act.

Other top officials who left office on Monday for politics include Presidential Advisor on Coalition Affairs Prof Kivutha Kibwana and Administration Police Commandant Kinuthia Mbugua.

This also saw the exit of a number of permanent secretaries including Ken Lusaka (Livestock), Mohammed Wamwachai (Forestry), John Lontangapuo (Public Works), James Nyikal (Gender) and Emmanuel Kisombe (Immigration).

Others include Higher Education Loans Board chief executive Benjamin Cheboi, Communications Commission of Kenya chairman Philip Okundi, Kenya Airports Authority board chairman Martin Nyaga Wambora, Kenya Wines Agency board chairman Moitaleel ole Kenta, Garissa district commissioner Elijah Taragon and Mr Joseph Tiampati, a general manager at NSSF.

Dr Mutua, who has often been on the wrong side of the public following his comments, defended his tenure in office and promised to tell more in a book to be titled “Shooting the messenger”.

He also defended his decision to join Wiper saying it was the most popular party in Machakos.

“Wiper Democratic Movement is the most popular party in Machakos. Kenyan politics is regional and you have to board the bus that takes you to the direction you desire. If I was running for governor in Homa Bay County, I would definitely be a life member of ODM,” Dr Mutua said.

Dr Mutua said that he was joining the race for Machakos governor after being compelled by the areaa's residents who he said want someone who has “experience in setting up governance structures.”

“The people of Machakos have requested me to be their first Governor because they want someone who is young, corrupt free, energetic, visionary and with the ability to transform the County into an economic and social power house. I have humbly accepted their request,” Dr Mutua.

The former spokesman added that he had learnt a lot in government and was holding a lot of secrets, some of which he will be taking to the grave. He however said that he would write a tell-tale book that would outline some of the issues that have taken place in the country during President Kibaki’s tenure.

“As I leave office, I have learned a lot and have kept a lot of notes. I am currently working on a book, “Shooting the Messenger.” I will however not be peeling any masks but will reveal the truth about what has been happening in Kenya,” Dr Mutua said.

Dr Mutua urged politicians to avoid confrontational politics and seek for national cohesion and also urged that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to enforce the Elections Act to the letter so as to “rid our country off impunity and bad leadership.”

“We are a poor country but sitting on riches. Our people and our land is rich beyond measure. We only need to harness and direct this wealth so that it can mature our people prosperously and free them from poverty,” Dr Mutua said.

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