SECTIONS

Awards of national dishonour

President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses religious leaders at State House, Nairobi. [PSCU]

This has been a good week for Prezzo UK’s family. He awarded his nephew Jomo Gecaga and nice Nana Gecaga top State honours.

Jomo received the third highest honour in the nation - the Order of the Golden Heart  - while his sister received Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear, for their service to the nation.

To sceptics who might say this is favouritism, pure and simple, they should be reminded that for several years, Nana has been a diligent worker at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre. It’s no mean feat to rise every morning and discharge your work, for a very modest pay.

I mean, given her pedigree and family connections, Nana would have been deploying her gifts elsewhere, but she chose to serve her country. Ditto her brother, Jomo, who opted to serve the uncle as a personal assistant. That’s a mark of humility.

Since I haven’t seen their citations, I can only speculate that these filial relationships are not revealed because they are not important.

You do not need family connections or proximity to power to be recognised by the Head of State.

This is why one of the most prominent sons to emerge from this country and continent, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, now 84 and ailing, is missing from Prezzo UK’s final list.

When I inquired about the process of recognising distinguished Kenyans who are not related to the First family, a source said: “There is an online portal where you make the recommendations.”

If that’s what the government thinks of its most prominent son, these awards are, indeed, a national dishonour.