alexa Thanks to Kiunjuri, the hustler nation gets a D for Deception - Daily Nation

Thanks to Kiunjuri, the hustler nation gets a D for Deception

Friday January 17 2020

Mwangi Kiunjuri

Sacked Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri speaks of the rough ride he had while serving as minister, during a press conference on January 14, 2019 in Nairobi. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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The countdown has been on for a long time, but Mwangi Kiunjuri finally exited the Cabinet before the second coming of Jesus.

The sacking of the Agriculture Cabinet secretary brings to an end the longest debate on his actual genetic make-up; we now know that he neither has the genes of a cat nor those of a locust.

President Uhuru Kenyatta couldn’t have made the decision at a better time when Mr Kiunjuri still has the fat layers he accumulated during the festive season.

Had the firing happened during the lean months, it would have been a good humanitarian gesture to send him home with a hardship allowance and a speed governor for his mouth.

You have to covet this man’s luck. Not many Kenyans have bosses who have the patience to remind them to pull up their socks at work when they could easily get replacements that are more elastic and higher reaching.

For a long time, we have known patience to be a virtue, but it is now also President Uhuru Kenyatta’s middle name.



You would have expected Mr Kiunjuri, therefore, to thank the President for tolerating his mediocrity for too long, and not recommending his name to the prisons tailor.

Instead, the self-confessed Kikuyu kingpin took advantage of the limelight to shower himself with praise for enduring untold humiliation during his time in office. You would have thought it was a tree speaking.

He fell short of asking for a medal for being the longest-standing government official who can absorb humiliation without leaking emotions.

From today, if his political flight refuses to take off, he should reincarnate into a sponge because we desperately need his resilience in mopping up the muddy pools that currently riddle Nairobi roads.

What has baffled many is the confidence with which he issued the statement announcing that he had given his best in the job.

We know – we live in Kenya – the performance bar might have Alcoblow at the gate, but for Kiunjuri to announce that he had given his best during his time in office points to a man who either long lost his dictionary or is planning to take up a career in comedy.


Hearing him describe how he was the best performing Agriculture minister, you might be forgiven to think he had come up with revolutionary ideas to change the sector.

He sounded like he discovered a new breed of mangoes that turn red when exposed to middle men, or a coffee variety that releases a pungent smell whenever it gets into contact with smugglers.

Instead, we will remember him for putting the lives of locusts in danger, and for paying professional photographers with exposure.

He seemed to have had no problems instructing Kenyans to help the government take photos of locusts without providing details on where to send the invoice.

If he cannot be asked to account for the scandals that happened on his watch, at least he should be charged with endorsing slave labour.

If it wasn’t a shame that Kenyans have never seen the 500,000 jobs the Jubilee government promised to create every year, now we are being told to work for the Ministry of Agriculture for free. As if landlords accept patriotism for rent.


When Mr Kiunjuri announced that he had set aside Sh254 million for the eradication of the desert locusts, you would have imagined there was a budget line for procurement of surveillance cameras to be issued to those in the affected areas.

He wanted the camel herder in the Wajir wilderness to start debating whether he will save his phone battery for emergency response or to take photos of locusts.

This is the tragedy of entrusting government policy to people who think everyone in Kenya is on social media – that pastoralists in Kenya breathe network signals, and walk around with electricity transformers strapped on their backs.

Some government officials only see poverty on television, and it shows. This bad habit of sounding philosophical after being relieved of official duties, needs to stop.

When we needed you to apply wisdom, you chose to apply make-up.

Now that you are out you want to guilt-trip us with quotable quotes as if the President had not gone through your curriculum vitae prior to your Cabinet appointment.


If we wanted to hire philosophers in agriculture we know where Ancient Greece is, and it isn't in Oljoro Orok.

It was painful watching Mr Kiunjuri revise his high school physics notes, quoting Isaac Newton’s Law of Motion.

This should have come in handy had it been the KCSE month, but not in January when high school students are looking for painkillers for their school fees headache.

For someone who was once a tout, he’d have at least shown a little sensitivity by quoting a verse from the Book of Hope instead. Once again, the Hustler Nation gets a D for Deception.

Mr Oguda comments on topical issues; [email protected]