• Leaders mourn Karanja Kabage as honest and hardworking fellow who Kenyans should emulate.
• Host Governor Lee Kinyanjui sought the President’s ear on the proposed Nakuru airport and the expansion of Nakuru-Mau Summit road.
The ‘hustler’ politics took a centre stage yesterday when Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga shared a podium in Nakuru.
The two were among a host of dignitaries whom joined President Uhuru Kenyatta for the burial of lawyer Karanja Kabage in Nakuru.
The ‘hustler’ comments came when Raila rose to pay tribute to the former insurance broker, saying Kabage’s humble beginnings gave the true meaning to what a hustle entails.
AU High Representative for Infrastructure Raila tore into leaders with questionable wealth, saying they should emulate Kabage, whom he hailed as a person of integrity.
Using the former lawyer’s story of moving from an insurance broker to a lawyer and later an established businessman, Raila said such was a true example.
“If you look at that history, then you can conclude that if hustling is a virtue, Karanja Kabage was really a hustler,” the ODM leader said.
Raila asked Kenyans to drop their ‘tenderpreneurship’ habit; further asking those fond of running around government offices lobbying for tenders should emulate the lawyer.
The former Prime Minister has been at loggerheads with DP Ruto over the latter’s source of wealth while the DP feels that the AU envoy is ‘the lord of poverty’ by opposing fundraisers in aid of churches.
But Raila reiterated that Kenyans can make it in their livelihoods without engaging in corruption, said to be the source of money donated at the fundraisers.
“He (Kabage) was against corruption and believed it was possible to make wealth in this country genuinely without resorting to corruption.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta warned against early 2022 campaigns. He said the time for competitive politics would come ‘when the field shall be open’.
The President has overtime cautioned his Jubilee brigade against early campaigns but the directives seem to have hit a dead end with the proliferation of groupings such as Tangatanga, Kieleweke and Team Wanjiku, among others.
Uhuru called on Kenyans to concentrate on work ,adding that the ‘useless’ political talk will not help anyone put food on their table.
“I wouldn’t want to talk much. Time for politics will come. And when it comes, the field will be open. But for now, we need to work. Let us deal with important things,” the president said.
He equally warned those stealing public resources, saying such property does not add value to the lives of Kenyans.
“Let us do beyond what helps us as individuals. It is not about your pocket but ask yourself how you will make people’s lives better,” Uhuru said, extending the call to state officers and doctors.
“Remember the life of citizens is more important than what we pocket. If we do this, the development that Musalia Mudavadi (Amani leader) spoke about would be achieved.”
“If someone thinks of himself alone, we cannot move. We should be people who love one another as Kenyans and deal with these problems of tribalism,” Uhuru said.
Ruto took a swipe at leaders who act as political brokers in the quest to gain relevance in the field.
In his tribute to Kabage, the DP reminisced how he told Kabage that politics has ups and downs, has a lot of threats, and little respect.
The DP hailed the deceased as a mentor whose advice saw him start an insurance agency which later grew to become African Merchant Assurance Company (Amaco).
The leaders vouched for unity among Kenyans saying no one needs to ask for permission to reside in any part of the country.
Host Governor Lee Kinyanjui sought the President’s ear on the proposed Nakuru airport and the expansion of Nakuru-Mau Summit road. The President pledged that the works would pick up in the near future.
(Edited by P. Wanambisi)