Kenya made history in 2002 when Opposition parties came together and demolished Kanu’s four-decade stranglehold of power.
The Opposition, working under the umbrella of National Rainbow Coalition (Narc), rode to power under the leadership of Mwai Kibaki with a promise to right the wrongs perpetrated by the Kanu administration.
The Coalition was formed through a Memorandum of Understanding between the National Alliance of Kenya (NAK) and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which comprised a team of Cabinet ministers and seasoned politicians who had bolted out of Kanu to protest President Moi’s decision to impose Uhuru Kenyatta, then a greenhorn in politics, as his successor and the party’s presidential candidate.
The revolt and open defiance against President Moi was unprecedented. Nobody had ever defied President Moi; not in his Cabinet. He was ruthless and unforgiving. Whoever showed any sign of defiance was dealt with viciously.
Narc swept the country like a bush fire and ascended to power triumphantly. The carnival mood that pervaded across the country in the halcyon days of Narc revolution was palpable. However, the Narc dream was short-lived.
The MoU that had bound the leaders together was quickly trashed, triggering incessant squabbles culminating in total fallout in 2005 after the Constitution referendum. Henceforth, the country was on a path to self-destruction. When the next election was held in 2007, the political dynamics had changed dramatically. President Kibaki found himself literally fighting for his political survival as his erstwhile enthusiastic allies and supporters ganged up against him.
Matters became worse when the elections were bungled and Kibaki controversially declared the President to the chagrin of the Opposition led by Raila Odinga. This triggered the worst violence ever visited on Kenya.
These narratives and many other landmarks in Kenya history form the text of the new book, Riding on a Tiger, written by former Vice-President Moody Awori, who has lived through tumultuous moments; from the pre-independence period through to the independence and later to second liberation.
Published by Moran (EA) Publishers, the book will be launched in Nairobi on Tuesday.
Moody Awori, fondly referred to as Uncle Moody, bares his heart out, taking the reader through the heady days of colonial administration; the struggle for independence; the challenges of post-independence; strong family ties; his business orientation and empire and later his entry into politics as MP for Funyula Constituency, Busia, which position he held for a quarter century; and later, ascension to the second highest office in the land. It is a story of village boy who rose to become one of the most influential personalities in recent times.
The autobiography is rich in history; presenting interesting political scenes, some anecdotally, and transplanting the reader into the workings of the inner sanctums of power. Family, politics, public life, wealth, philanthropy and community service are all meshed into one fascinating read.