When former Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria speaks, which is often, people listen. It’s not that his words bear rhyme or reason, like his biblical namesake, who unsuccessfully tried to steer his people from the wilderness to the Promised Land. Kenya’s Moses, or MK, as he’s known to his supporters, has a coarse, raspy voice that bears hints of violence, stunning many into submission.
Once upon, not too long ago, this very voice so scared folks in Gatundu that no one dared run against MK in competitive politics. But this magic fizzled when he left Gatundu to stake a claim in the Kiambu gubernatorial contest.
On a few occasions, MK engaged in shouting contests with his competitors, but his raspy voice did not scare them one bit. He was twangad at the polls to emerge, as Gatundu folks say, holding the tail.
Vanquished, MK conceded and receded from the limelight. But not for long. He emerged this week in the wilds of Athi River, showered, oiled and looking glam in a suit. He is after all, the spanking new Trade, Investment and Industry Cabinet Secretary.
The polished MK spoke in a lofty tone, outlining his lofty goals. “I have a target from the President that within the next eight years, I must raise the GDP contribution of manufacturing from 7 per cent to 20 per cent.”
What’s GDP, and can starving Kenyans eat it? And who says he will be at the helm for eight years? Well, since I hear there is a plot to extend presidential terms, so that Prezzo Bill Ruto can rule for the rest of his life, it’s reasonable to speculate MK is equally deluded that his first term will last eight years.
MK went on to outline his vision in his new assignment as government minister: He’d develop government land productively, he said, use the land to create jobs, earn foreign exchange, blah blah blah.
These lines were delivered with feeling, imbued with the enthusiasm that only MK can marshal, before his raspy tone cracked into life, bearing a chilling threat: “How am I going to do this when I’m have to deal with squatters?”
Ooh, what do squatters got to do with it? Apparently, some are sitting on government land, which MK wants to use. “Do you want me to bow to the few thousands of people, squatters, or do you want to me to look at hundreds of thousands of ppl who are looking (sic) jobs right here?
Good question, only that such distinctions are not useful. Or, aren’t squatters in need of jobs? This business about GDP and squatters is pretty interesting, especially since MK says his vision is to turn the Portland land, which is reportedly occupied by illegal squatters, into “the best aviation hub in the region,” so obviously squatters will never be part of MK’s client base.
I mean, they’d never need to fly anywhere—unless they hoist up a campaign chopper, as some minions do.
MK addressed the squatting lot directly: “I have to tell squatters: I know you are an irresistible force; but in me you will find an immovable object.” Woohooo! Cometh MK, the poet! Finally, he delivered his punchline: “Watu waweke emotions kwa handbag!”
MK wasn’t done. He said he was aware his actions might be construed as oppression of “hustlers” but, he went on, he was the original hustler. And he was aware that the variety of the hustler occupying the Portland land was the privileged type, who drove Prados and V8s, even better than MK’s.
His final word: “No one centimetre of Portland land will be grabbed,” he promised, adding that he was mobilising the best graders and tractors. “I’ll flatten those structures, my friend.” Why use his graders when his violent tongue can do the trick?