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Nyachae’s ups, downs now in black and white

By Beauttah Omanga

Simeon Nyachae has published a book narrating his tribulations under former presidents Kenyatta and Moi.

The retired politician in his 70s has recalled ugly attempts to frustrate his efforts to succeed in the civil service and businesses.

On the political front, Nyachae traces his political predicament to a meeting in West Mugirango’s Kebirigo market, where a declaration was allegedly made to block him from joining politics.

Former minister Simeon Nyachae tells of his tribulations as powerful individuals targeted his political career and businesses.

He says he earned himself enemies while in the civil service.

"The revenge after my retirement was crude in the sense that Kanu MPs from my community appeared to have been incited to hold meetings throughout the larger Kisii accusing me of being a dangerous rich person, who wanted to dominate the Gusii community and Kenya," writes Nyachae.

He says he was convinced that his frustrations were as a result of his refusals to intervene and protect then Cabinet Minister Zachary Onyonka, who faced a murder charge over an incident in his Kitutu Chache constituency.

The Kebirigo Declaration, he says, was led by, among others, Cabinet Minister Chris Obure.

"Reflecting on this matter over many years, I have come to realise that people who have turned against me in politics are those I had assisted," says Nyachae.

After failing to convince the community to shun him, Nyachae says his detractors turned to his investments.

He recalls many incidences where his employees were arrested only to be released for lack of evidence of any wrongdoing.

He says the same year senior Government officials produced a detailed brief on how to undermine his investments.

"I would no longer get import licences for spare parts for my flour mills or edible oil machinery," Nyachae states, adding his flour mills were almost grounded.

"We were forced to make unofficial arrangements where the supplier would send the parts to German Embassy in Nairobi as samples and then we would collect them".

For licenses to import spare parts for the edible oil factory, Nyachae had to devise means to beat the system.

The answer came in the form of importing them from India using a local Asian businessman".

A flashy car he had imported was retained for seven months on fears he was competing with President Moi.

The car was seized by the police and when his son Charles went to inquire, he was told by Customs officials "the car I had imported could not be cleared because nobody in the country was allowed to import a car that big unless he or she wanted to have powers like those of the President".

The car was however later released after his son filed a suit.

As his problems intensified following the Kisii rallies, his factory within Embakasi became the target.

He says the Government claimed that his mill was attracting many birds, which could be a danger to aircrafts at JKIA.

Birds attracted

"I resisted the move and requested the German Embassy to help me secure an expert to establish whether birds were being attracted by the mill," he says.

The research cleared him.

But the plan to frustrate his businesses continued.

"Arrangements were made the previous night for someone to hurl a dead rat over the stone wall of the mill. The dead rat fell on the railway siding," he says.

Nyachae says the following day officers went straight to the place where the dead rat was and picked it. This time, the allegation was that the mill had been infested with rats, which could cause a plague."

But business was allowed to continue since no more rats were found.

His tormentors moved to his tax payment records, claiming he was evading, only to be proved wrong.

As the experiences continued, he was still reluctant to join politics, even as the country moved towards multi party politics.

"With all these political problems, I went through after my retirement as a senior civil servant. I have always remained wondering whether or not the President… was totally in the dark," writes Nyachae.

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Simeon Nyachae