No Vacancy: Murkomen shatters hustler's dream

Possibly fed up with sending his always inebriated uncle countless CVs, a middle-aged man from Vihiga thought he would approach bwana mkubwa for a job.

Elphas Busisa had undoubtedly heard what they say about bald men and as soon as Transport Waziri Kipchumba Murkomen caught his sight, Busisa poured his heart out.

“Mimi ni hustler,” he introduced himself to bwana waziri during a recent raid of the National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA) offices.

Careful not to hurt the Cabinet secretary’s hand, the man from the land of salamus offered the softest handshake, supporting Murkomen’s right hand with his left.

He had the perfect plan to warm himself into waziri’s heart, hence the ‘hustler’ reference meant to alert Murkomen that the man before him was, in Riggy G parlance, a ‘shareholder’.

“Shida yangu ni kazi,” the common mwananchi went on, before waziri’s retort that must have had Busisa doubting all the folklore he had heard about hairless men and money.

“Hapa hatupeani kazi,” the good waziri, his head all shiny, shot back. Indeed, Bien and Aaron didn’t lie; you can count on the baldie to do everything better. Murkomen, now puffing his face to feign a stern look, served disappointment in portions larger than the average Luhya would stomach.

Murkomen’s words left Busisa embarrassed and confused - rightfully so. It must have been hard for him to reconcile the fact that a government that can afford to buy its officials watches pricier than a graduate’s bride price had no job for him.

Two years ago, Murkomen’s political camp had promised a million jobs to the hustler nation within a year. A few jobs came and went to the true hustlers - those with shares in the Kenya Kwanza government.

The noble administration had lined up 50 Chief Administrative Secretary slots and indeed shortlisted mama mboga and watu ya bodaboda, but some jealous people keen to keep the hoi polloi down challenged the positions in court.

But waziri was probably right, as jobs are mainly dished out by the big boss, President William Ruto, with Riggy G playing a gatekeeping role to ensure only those with the right names have a piece of the cake.

Murkomen, too, isn’t sitting pretty, with some people, including clergy members, demanding his sacking for failing to tame road accidents. Raila Odinga’s Azimio last week called him out for always rushing to the scene, insisting that it was not a solution to tackling road carnage.

That could be the strategy bwana waziri understands best. Only Interior Waziri Kithure Kindiki has made more ‘raids’ at government offices than his fellow learned friend. Murkomen appears to have a thing for the NTSA offices, where he constantly issues empty promises to sort out delays in issuing number plates and driving licenses.

A newbie in the Executive though he is, the former Elgeyo Marakwet senator should already know that the public expects little from the government and it does not include politicians keeping their word.

Before he was shattering hustlers’ dreams, Murkomen was the senator of the county that prides itself as the home of champions. And boy, wasn’t Murkomen one, performing exceptionally well in all assignments?

When the occasion demanded a sycophant, as it often did during former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s tenure, Murkomen pulled out all the stops. As Majority Leader in the Senate, Murkomen ensured that his half of the bicameral House remained tightly in the Executive’s grips, submitting to its every whim.

That was when he still thought Uhuru would back Ruto for the presidency. Murkomen shifted loyalty when the son of Jomo booted his boss and he remembered his true boss was mwananchi. He fought for Wanjiku fiercely, especially when debating the share of revenue to be allocated to counties.

He had many things going for him - his voice that always seemed the loudest and his relatively good English that hardly betrayed his origins, unless he had to utter words such as “truth”. Of course, growing up among athletes, the ‘h’ was silent.

During his stint in the Senate, he fought many fights. Perhaps the most memorable involved him and Siaya Governor James Orengo about who the better lawyer was. Murkomen thought he landed a big one when he mentioned his Master’s degree but was silenced by Orengo’s comeback that waziri had never argued any meaningful case in court.

Indeed, in the few times the public has seen Murkomen in court, his involvement in cases has always ended at the introductions. But he has thrived in academia, teaching law at the University of Nairobi.

Similarly, Murkomen had a stellar career sampling the tea served in newsrooms. Before he got to Bunge, he had made a name as a calm and sober political and legal analyst.

Busisa’s story didn’t end in disappointment, as Murkomen eventually offered him a job after pressure from netizens when the ‘hatupeani kazi’ clip went viral.