A to Z of key events, personalities and oddities that shaped the year 2018
SEE ALSO :Sharon Otieno most 'Googled' in 2018Since his declaration early in the year that he would dedicate all his energy, time and resources to the Big Four, President Uhuru Kenyatta furnished the Kenyan political space with a new catchphrase. Every political loser started harping on the Big Four for redemption. Every person who opposed Uhuru even on the most basic things such as media freedom became enemy of the Big 4. C for Cabinet and its dramas The reconstitution of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s second term Cabinet had its fair share of drama, from some CSs being dropped and dispatched thousands of miles away from the community elders they used to intercede for them, to others appointed as “afterthoughts”. Throughout the year, CSs Rashid Echesa, Mwangi Kiunjuri, Sicily Kariuki and Aden Mohamed carried the “controversy” trophy for the Cabinet. D Demolitions A new wave of demolition of buildings on riparian or grabbed land swept the city by storm. Orchestrated by an earthmover branded SANY, the exercise caused nightmares among many who had thrived on the impunity and chaos of City Hall. When SANY came calling, Ukay tumbled, Airgate Mall crumbled, Manor Hotel went down and South End mal plummeted to the ground.
SEE ALSO :Miguna Miguna a Kenyan, court rulesJ for justice at last In several instances, 2018 was the year justice was served raw and cold to some unlucky bigwigs. In police circles, the conviction of celebrated crime buster Titus Ngamau aka Katitu sent chills and drove home the folly of trusting the mobs. Later, another top cop Nahashon Mutua was convicted of killing an inmate. It was also the year bigwigs like former City Town Clerk John Gakuo, former Senator Joy Gwendo were convicted and many MPs, Governors and CEO’s hauled before courts. K for Kamata Kamata Fridays The exploits of lethal duo of Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti and Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji in cuffing one VIP or another every Friday coined this catchphrase. All the CEOs, PSs, politicians, celebrities and notables who were charged in court this year were rounded up on Fridays and domiciled in the various city police stations awaiting production in court. L for Lords of Impunity Not once and not twice, select top state officials proved themselves to be above the law and outside jurisdiction of the courts. This was the case where orders of the court were flatly ignored in the matter involving lawyer Miguna Miguna and extradition of the Akasha brothers. One bold headline dropped all the pretenses and branded Interior CS Fred Matiang’i, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet and PS Gordon Kihalagwa as the “Lords of Impunity.” M for Miguna Miguna The forceful deportation of lawyer Miguna Miguna from the country of his birth and contrary to legal orders of the court shocked the country. The drama accompanying the whole fiasco was no less: A helpless Raila Odinga, a bleating Miguna and the destitute rule of law. The declaration that “I am not boarding! Where is my passport! The Captain cannot fly!” affirmed Miguna’s valiance in the face of adversity. N for No to NTSA President Uhuru Kenyatta personally kicked out National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) officials off the Kenyan roads following a bout of criticism over the agency’s inability to curb road carnage. Kenyans celebrated the move which left the agency counting the losses of having to ground hundreds of NTSA branded patrol cars. The Kenyan voice was loud and clear: They’d rather deal with the police. O for Okoth Obado Misfortune seemed to be Migori Governor Okoth Obado’s lot in the year 2018 and they came in quick succession. The murder of his pregnant girlfriend Sharon Otieno triggered it all; month-long incarceration, murder charge on his neck, a hospital stay chained on the bed, corruption investigations and senatorial by-election loss. P for People Power The wind of change swept through some of the biggest economies in Africa. In South Africa, President Jacob Zuma was still throwing punches when his sponsor party ANC was preoccupied with reorganising the Chief Justice’s diary to swear his successor. In neighboring Ethiopia, Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalegn read the writing on the wall and stepped down. In DRC, Joseph Kabila agreed to an election without his name in the ballot and in Uganda, musician Bobi Wine gave strongman Yoweri sleepless nights. Q for Quack doctor Mugo Wairimu Making a comeback in his quackery, notorious “Doctor” Mugo Wairimu was back in the news this year after hibernating for years in similar ignominy. Caught on camera drugging his sorry self and giving medical advice in drunken stupor, the man was apprehended in his cousin’s dingy house in Gachie after playing police with 15 SIM cards for two weeks. R for Reggae music Long before the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) added it to the list of cultural entities worthy of preservation, Kenyans had already domesticated the tag line “Nobody can stop reggae” in 2018. Jamaican reggae legend Bob Marley had long prophesised that his brand of music will “go on and on forever, until it reaches the right people”. It came to pass in 2018 when the UNESCO meeting played it live in the hallowed halls of UN Headquarters as the Jamaican delegation celebrated. S for Swearing-in The effects of the January 31 swearing-in ceremony for Nasa leader Raila Odinga can still be felt as 2018 draws to a close. Through it, the Nasa four principals’ arrangement crumbled like a house of cards. The talk of Nigerian phone lines, bodies made or not made for jail, crocodiles in River Jordan and smell of betrayal linger on to this date. T for Transitions The year 2018 was marked by momentous transitions of people who shaped modern Kenyan in one way or another. From former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, the man who saved Kenya from the brink of precipice, Ouma Muga whose obituary celebrated him for staging a coup, Senator Ben Oluoch whose children list stretched to “and many others” to music legend Joseph Kamaru, Kenya lost a mosaic of true gems. U for United Kingdom pleasures and pains Our former colonisers had a mixed bag of fortunes in 2018. The ghosts of Brexit vote came back to haunt as Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no confidence motion over a raw deal of Brexit plan. The silver lining for the crown however was the fancied royal wedding between the Prince of Wales Harry and Ms Meghan Markle which unleashed the vain spirits of Kenyan upper middle class. V for Vera Sidika vs Otille Brown It was undeniably the breakup of the year, a voluptuous slay queen and a musical sensation. Like it was wont to, it ended up in irrational revelations and allegations against each other: From Otile allegedly pulling all stunts to put a ban in Sidika’s oven to Sidika pulling all stops to dodge the bullets, the pair spiced the gossip columns and Nairobi’s tabloids a great deal. W for Woman Eater Justice James Wakiaga opened the can of worms when he declared murder suspect Joseph “Jowie” Irungu “a male version of a slay queen and a woman eater.” Nobody saw this coming, especially from a judge of the High Court. The murder case involving Jowie and TV journalist Jacque Maribe gripped the nation as a third principal, State House Director Dennis Itumbi came to the fore to stand behind Maribe. X for x-rating of 45th POTUS President Donald Trump, the self-declared stable genius, started the year with “shithole” remark on African countries. In between, he called a CNN reporter “terrible person”, Kim Jong Un “little rocket man” and blasted his ex-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as “dumb as a rock.” He has declared ex-AG Eric Schneiderman a “sleazebag”. Y for Youthful Moody Awori President Uhuru Kenyatta pulled a good one on Kenyan youth when he appointed “youthful” former Vice President Moody Awori to chair a sports kitty. Following an outpouring of public fury, Uhuru said he trusted the “youthful” Awori to keep the money than the younglings whose preoccupation with wealth creation predisposes them to theft. Z for Zero Chills It was the year of zero chills as prominent Kenyans went for each other’s jugular. Nominated MP David ole Sankok went for the neck of single mothers before he was held by his balls by fellow MP Martha Wangari. Mzee Jackson Kibor had no respite in his wives-divorcing spree, booting the second in a matter of months. President Uhuru Kenyatta himself several times exploded on zero chill mode, telling off Governor Sonko, among other incidents.