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Jaramogi bought Kibaki his first car, former aide alleges

By | Published Tue, July 19th 2011 at 00:00, Updated Tue, July 19th 2011 at 00:00 GMT +3

By Anderson Ojwang

The Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) was told of how the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga plucked President Mwai Kibaki from his teaching job at Makerere University and bought him his first vehicle.

A former personal assistant to Jaramogi, who is also a former Kisumu Municipal councillor Edwin Onyango Radier told the commission that the late doyen of opposition politics was acting on the advice of Kikuyu elders who had identified Kibaki, then a tutorial fellow at Makerere University.

He said Odinga tasked Prof David Wasao to contact Kibaki and when he (Odinga) visited Uganda during celebrations to mark independence in 1962, they initiated talks that made Kibaki abandon academia for politics.

Radier said Jaramogi talked Kibaki into returning home to be the Kanu Executive Officer as the country was heading for independence and wanted elites to help in the formation of the government.

According to Radier, Kibaki was at first hesitant and told Odinga that though the idea was good, he only had three months to be confirmed as a lecturer. He argued he would then be able to get a loan and buy a car.

"But in turn Odinga told him ‘I will buy you a car. Come to my office in Nairobi’," Radier told the TJRC.

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He said two weeks later, Kibaki turned up at Odinga’s office in Nairobi and Radier let him in, upon which he was sent with money to go pay for Kibaki’s car.

"I was given Sh9,500 to go to Marshalls where I paid for the Peugeot saloon car for Kibaki. Odinga also rented for Kibaki a house in Bahati and paid him allowance of Sh700 to maintain the car for six months," he said.

Radier said during that time, Jaramogi also identified former Kisumu Rural MP Ndolo Ayah who became his personal secretary and bought him a sports car and Burudi Nabwera whom he recruited to become Kanu co-ordinator for Nyanza North.

Jaramogi also bought Nabwera another Peugeot saloon car and for Ayah, he paid a deposit of Sh1,000 to Kisumu Municipal Council for a house in Ondiek Estate.

Speaking before the Commission, Radier said Jaramogi chose Kibaki to take over from a lawyer, Collins Omondi Odipo, in order to popularise the party at the top and mobilise the Kikuyu and other communities to join in."

Odinga, after tying Kibaki to accept the role, took his appointment to the executive committee and Omondi who was on an acting capacity left the post to Kibaki.

Radier said Kenya started on the right path of having a united nation but after independence and political differences between Jaramogi and the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, bad blood between the two communities emerged.

He said Nyanza became marginalised and projects that were expected to be funded by the USSR stalled. They urged the Commission to find a way of having a united Kenya and ending tribalism in the country.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi has advised the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) to lobby the support of MPs as they seek the extension of their term of office.

Mudavadi told the commission that it was only by engaging the legislators that they can win the support of having the extra six months to their tenure, which they are seeking to complete their work.

According to the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Act, 2008, TJRC is supposed to have finalised its work by end of September and table its report by November, this year. However, the commission has sought an extension of the term to February, to cover all parts of the country.

So far the commission has only covered, North Eastern, Upper Eastern, Western and are currently in Nyanza. It is yet to visit Rift Valley, Central, Coast and Central Eastern regions.