wo huge photos usher you into the foyer of Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi’s Nairobi home. The first one has a widely smiling Kituyi posing with Pope Francis, while the second has a jovial Kituyi and his wife, Dr. Ling Kituyi, standing on either side of former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.
And when Kituyi walks down the wide wooden staircase on the right hand side of the entryway - he is fully suited and tells us this is the first interview he is doing in his home dressed in a suit - Kituyi embarks on a little house tour, on a mission to help us weigh options for an ideal spot to shoot the interview, seeing that we’d already been let in by Kituyi’s house manager and had set up in his living room. We take cue and look at more spaces, to see whether there’s a better one.
We go into Kituyi’s study, located next to the staircase, where Kituyi takes a seat and meddles with the swanky adjustable table, a room-wide bookcase playing background. We take a few photos of him looking UN-Secretary-General-ish, then walk through the sparsely yet tastefully furnished lounge exhibiting a delicate mix of coastal and oriental aesthetics. We land in the backyard, where Kituyi’s two identical dogs which had jumped all over my colleagues and I and kept tapping the door during the interview try to make a go at Kituyi, but he shoves them aside. They may ruin the outfit, but the affection is palpable.
Then there is the dining area, which looks like one of the rooms at the United Nations - most under-stated with wooden seats cushioned with UN-blue fabric. Throughout the house, there is absolutely nothing that screams extravagance. Everything speaks taste and functionality. In the living room, there are collectibles gathered from Kituyi and his family’s world travels, so that calling them chattel would be an injustice. Memorabilia and souvenirs would be more like it.
It is during this walk-about that Kituyi ventures into a corner of his living room, wanders into the bar, stands behind the counter and asks with a knowing grin, ‘‘How did you like my bar? Some people have come here and gotten obsessed.’’ I wouldn’t blame those people.
As you enter Kituyi’s parlour and look to the far left, what you see is a drinks cabinet with glass doors running from floor-to-ceiling, obstructed by a serving counter. Inside the compartments is a display of all manner of rare bourbons, whiskeys and brandys; entire ranges of Henneseys - including those that cost an arm and a leg; your Glenfidichs and Glenmorangies, and so on. The whiskeys are dominant, possibly testament to Kituyi’s taste if not that of his guests and family.
And for a minute, much as it’s only midmorning, I am tempted to think Kituyi is about to pour my colleagues and I a drink when he drops a few names (which I won’t repeat for obvious reasons) of some of those who’ve drowned in the exploits of his impressive collection. It seems for the well-stocked bar alone, Kituyi gets quite a stream of high profile visitors.
‘‘Is the bar part of who you are?’’ I ask Kituyi, catching him off guard.
‘‘Yeah yeah,’’ Kituyi says after giving it a quick thought, ‘‘in a way.’’
Outside the mansion, Kituyi’s sole white Porsche Cayenne is parked, a world apart from his battered Isuzu Trooper which he used during his first political campaign in 1992. From Kituyi’s demeanor and the aura around his home, one gets the impression that here stands a man who has seen the world, and chosen to leave the world behind and come home, to make home look and feel like the world. But despite this peacefulness, there is a restlessness about Kituyi.
Kituyi’s earliest memory as a child was that of his family rushing out of their grass thatched house and running for a kilometer to a home which had a tin roofed house, to take refuge from on coming attackers from the Sabaot community who were zeroing in on the Bukusu. The logic was that it would take a little longer to burn down a tin roofed house, by which time its occupants would have vacated and disappeared into the bush. The other relayed-memory, as told by his father, was of Kituyi almost drowning in Lake Kyoga in Uganda as a child when his family was on the move, seeking greener pastures. No luxury in the world could erase such from Kituyi’s mind.
‘‘It is a statement of the vulnerability of ethnic tensions,’’ Kituyi says, ‘‘always living with the numbing fear that we have unresolved issues which we are not giving attention as a nation.’’
But beyond Kenya’s existential dilemmas, Kituyi carries an awareness from childhood that he always has to fight harder to find his place, for the sole reason that he started school so young - he was his elder brother’s classmate from primary school - which meant he was always less physically endowed than his mates. He was never picked for the class team - they would say, ‘‘Let the kids get off the pitch so the adults can play.’’ It is the same being-much-younger matter that stopped Kituyi from stepping forward to lead FORD Kenya for the longest time, since there were always older brothers in the room who the patriarchal system dictated were next in line to lead.
‘‘I used to wake up at 5am,’’ Kituyi says of his primary school days, ‘‘milk the cows, take milk to the collection point 1.5 kilometers away, walk back home, have porridge for breakfast, then walk 3 kilometers to school. I used to walk a total of 8 kilometers daily, barefoot.’’
The walking didn’t stop after Kituyi left Mbakalu Primary School.
‘‘When I joined Bokoli Secondary School for my O Levels, I wouldn’t look forward to midterms like the rest of the school,’’ Kituyi says, ‘‘because I never had any pocket money and couldn’t afford transport home. And so during midterms, I would start walking at midnight, so that I could get home later the following day. After walking the 30 kilometers, I would get home sore and numb and stay sick in bed, and by the time I recovered, it was time to walk back to school.’’
One sees a sense of pain and deep reflection in Kituyi’s eyes as he narrates these stories. Kituyi caught a break at St. Mary’s Yala for his A Levels, and later at the University of Nairobi.
But apart from childhood, Kituyi is grounded by his 7 year stay in Norway, where he experienced the Scandinavian model of social democracy and took up egalitarian habits which he says he has always hoped Kenya could replicate and significantly narrow the socio-economic gap.
‘‘Those who know me will tell you I don’t believe in hierarchical relationships,’’ Kituyi says. ‘‘The Norwegian Prime Minister moves around with two guards, and cannot afford domestic staff so they get home and cook for themselves. At the university, you can tell a professor, ‘‘There’s something I wanted to ask you, I wonder if you have time after class so we could meet and talk over a drink.’’ The professor would then ask you, ‘‘What’s your favourite pub?’’ and you can agree to meet somewhere close to the professor’s bus stage, because professors take buses.’’
It is a kind of simplicity and self-sufficiency Kituyi espouses. When we get to his well-secured home, it takes a moment before the gate is opened. Kituyi tells us the groundsman is away and the housekeeper hadn’t heard us ring the bell. Notably, there were no other handymen and women around. Kituyi also shares instances where during golf, he has had to intervene and ask a Court of Appeal judge and an heir to a Kenyan business empire to not be abusive to caddies.
‘‘The Scandinavian model works and has convinced me that it is possible to grow an economy without tolerating extreme inequality, and without blocking opportunities for progress,’’ Kituyi says as he lays down his mini-manifesto. ‘‘You cannot have a section of society in dire misery, totally ignored and sometimes subjected to criminal violence by the state, and then have another section with hundreds of security guards protecting their families and property.’’
The death of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga in January 1994 was akin to a shepherd pulling a disappearing act on their flock. The ensuing tug of war between a faction led by Raila Odinga and another led by Michael Kijana Wamalwa, and the consequent walkout by the Raila group, saw FORD-Kenya arrive at the 1997 general election shrunk but still putting on a brave face.
Of the Young Turks, Mukhisa Kituyi, James Orengo and Anyang’ Nyong’o stuck with Wamalwa.
The result of FORD-Kenya’s split in the context of a broader fragmented opposition saw Daniel arap Moi win the 1997 presidency with 40% of the vote, just as he had done in 1992 with 36%. Kituyi retained his seat as MP for Kimilili Constituency, and continued serving as opposition Chief Whip. But after the 1997 loss, followed by Raila Odinga’s NDP going into an alliance with Moi’s KANU, Kituyi and others started thinking of how to consolidate a counter force to KANU.
‘‘We had a retreat in South Africa as guests of the African National Congress (ANC), where for one week we tried defining how we could create an agenda that we owned together as parliamentary opposition parties,’’ Kituyi says of the time he properly grew his coalition-building muscle, which he says will come in handy now that he’s seeking others. ‘‘In attendance were Mwai Kibaki, Norman Nyaga, Njeru Ndwiga, Martin Shikuku, James Orengo, Michael Kijana Wamalwa and Pheroze Nowrojee.’’ Part of the original core of the Young Turks - Kituyi, Orengo and Nowrojee were regrouping. A number of diplomatic missions in Nairobi were onboard.
It is out of this caucusing, according to Kituyi, that by the time KANU was imploding and Raila Odinga led a group of luminaries into the opposition, Mwai Kibaki, Charity Ngilu and Michael Kijana Wamalwa had already built sufficient gravitas. To Kituyi, Raila’s ‘‘Kibaki Tosha’’ edict was both a concession and acknowledgement of the opposition’s preexisting momentum. Much as Raila and his new entrants held sway, they couldn’t alter the opposition’s prior covenants.
This is how Kituyi was sworn in as Minister for Trade in Mwai Kibaki’s government in 2003, and FORD Kenya, the party of the Young Turks, was closer to realizing Wamalwa’s infamous ‘Grand march to State House’ when as party leader, Wamalwa was offered the vice presidency as per the pre-election agreement. However, before becoming minister, something happened to Kituyi.
‘‘Let me confess a certain history about Mwai Kibaki and myself,’’ Kituyi says when I later ask him whether it is true that before the 2007 general election, he was contemplating succeeding Mwai Kibaki come 2013, and that Kibaki was seriously entertaining the idea. Other than being one of Kibaki’s outstanding ministers, Kituyi had become the founding chairman of NARC Kenya, a new energized political party on which a faltering Kibaki was to ostensibly seek reelection.
‘‘Sometime in the year 2000, I received a phone call from Mwai Kibaki who asked me whether I passed through Nakuru often,’’ Kituyi says. ‘‘I told him I did, and Kibaki asked me whether I’d be passing through Nakuru that Friday. I said I would. He asked me to meet him at Stem Hotel at 7.30am.’’ Kibaki was the leader of the Official Opposition, Kituyi the opposition’s Chief Whip.
That Friday, Kituyi left Nairobi in the wee hours of the morning. ‘‘The roads were terrible those days,’’ Kituyi says. On arriving in Nakuru, Kituyi found Kibaki waiting, and after exchanging pleasantries, Kibaki asked Kituyi to drive behind him. Kituyi followed Kibaki, until they arrived at Kibaki’s farm near the Menengai Crater, overlooking Nakuru. Once at the farm, Kibaki told Kituyi he had wanted Kituyi to get there early before the animals were released to go out to pasture.
‘‘In Kikuyu custom,’’ Kibaki told Kituyi, ‘‘when an elder gets to my age (69), you look at your children and pick one of them and say, I have a sense that one day you will be able to keep my family together, and you give him a heifer, to say go and nature this heifer, so that one day my grandchildren can have milk, and one day you might slaughter a goat for me and fellow elders.’’
That day, Kituyi says, Kibaki gifted him four pedigree heifers in calf, four dorpers and four goats.
‘‘The symbolism of that moment wasn’t lost to me,’’ Kituyi says. On election day in 2002, one of the heifers gave birth as Kibaki was voted in as president.
The second allegorical incident happened five years later.
‘‘In the year 2005,’’ Kituyi says, ‘‘African ambassadors in Geneva and African ministers of Trade requested me to be the African candidate for director general of the World Trade Organization.’’ At the time, Kituyi was Minister for Trade, showing great promise on the international stage.
‘‘I went to see Mwai Kibaki,’’ Kituyi says, ‘‘and Kibaki told me, ‘‘Kituyi, you may not know but your personal history is very similar to mine. In 1960, I left my station as a lecturer at Makerere University and volunteered to be the Executive Officer of KANU. I wrote its manifesto, gave it a national agenda, and helped it create a credible government infrastructure for the Kenyatta years. Then in 1969, I was offered to be Vice President of the World Bank.’’’’
Kituyi had been founding Executive Director of FORD in 1992, thus the comparison.
When Kibaki went to see Jomo Kenyatta, Kenyatta had some words for him.
‘‘I want you to understand that you have been very important to my government,’’ Jomo Kenyatta told Kibaki, his 35 year old Minister for Commerce. ‘‘Look at your colleagues... there are certain things I can only do through you. I have not given you the biggest job, but I have trusted you. I don’t look over your shoulder all the time. Usually in politics, you give the big jobs to people you don’t trust so that you get to see what menace they are up to. I know the World Bank can find another Mwai Kibaki, but I cannot find another Mwai Kibaki for my cabinet.’’
After this narration, Kibaki had a question for Kituyi.
‘‘Does this ring a bell for you?’’ Kibaki asked his 49 year old Minister for Trade. ‘‘Do you recall our meeting at my farm in Nakuru? I need you more than the World Trade Organization needs you. One day you may serve the world, but for now your country needs you.’’
‘’I had that conversation with Mwai Kibaki,’’ Kituyi reiterates in a near whisper.
There was one witness to the above exchange, and Kituyi suspects that the person leaked the conversation ‘‘to our political friends,’’ as Kituyi calls them, since immediately from that point onwards, Kituyi became targeted by some of his colleagues within the Kibaki political machine.
First, his leadership of NARC Kenya was curtailed by the introduction of a rotating chairmanship, before Musikari Kombo and Simeon Nyachae gave Kibaki a softly delivered ultimatum - they wouldn’t fold their respective political parties to support Kituyi’s NARC Kenya experiment, and if Kibaki insisted on going the Kituyi way, then they wouldn’t guarantee him votes in their regions. Unless he came through FORD Kenya - of which Kombo had defeated Kituyi to become leader - Bungoma would be hostile, Kombo told Kibaki. Cornered, Kibaki opted to set up and run on the Party of National Unity, supported by a number of constituent parties, including FORD Kenya.
Left to his own devices five months to the 2007 general election, and being keen on not going back to FORD Kenya, Kituyi’s last minute recalibration cost him his parliamentary seat. To him, his walking away from FORD Kenya wasn’t taken well by his constituents. The Bukusu still held the party as the embodiment of their communal aspirations for ascending to state power. Kituyi dusted off his resume, and quickly found a home at the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C.
When Mwai Kibaki took office in January 2003, Mukhisa Kituyi and others who’d spent all their years of active politics either as pro-democracy activists or as firebrand opposition MPs had to acclimatize to their new reality as government ministers. For Kituyi, the demand to make the transition was instantaneous. Before being sworn in as minister, Kituyi received documents to read in preparation for a ministerial meeting on AGOA happening in Port Louis. And just after he lifted his right arm and made an affirmation - as a Quaker Kituyi doesn’t swear - Kituyi took off.
“On the day I arrived back into the country from Mauritius,’’ Kituyi says, ‘‘I found workers at the Export Processing Zone had gone on strike and there was serious destruction of property.’’ The new minister instructed his driver not to take him home, but to instead drive straight to Athi River, where Kituyi would speak to the workers. ‘‘They had imagined their woes were because of the Moi government, and now that there was a new government, they wanted better,’’ Kituyi says. On arriving at Athi River, stones and molotov cocktails were briefly laid on the ground as workers cheered, with one of them asking comrade Kituyi to first sing for them, for starters.
‘‘To them, I was still Kituyi the activist,’’ Kituyi says, ‘‘not Kituyi the government minister.’’
Then the compromises of running government followed.
‘‘During the first cabinet meeting,’’ Kituyi says of yet another reality check, ‘‘Kibaki asked us to donate Kabarnet Gardens to Moi. Usually, if you are vindictive you would say these people have stolen from us, we should stop them from stealing more. But we took the premier property Moi had occupied for more than 30 years and donated it to him as a gift. It was an important signal.’’
Kituyi was toning down, learning the difference between theory and practice.
Kituyi goes on to list an array of early-day interventions made by the Kibaki government - setting up of the National Economic and Social Council (NESC), the buying back of (instead of seizing) strategic assets from allies of the previous regime, the growth of the economy from a paltry 1.1%, and the list goes on. However, to Kituyi, three things happened and it was all a sad downward spiral.
‘‘The first setback was that President Kibaki had a stroke early in his reign,’’ Kituyi says, ‘‘and certain forces around him panicked and saw an opportunity for self enrichment.’’ This is where Anglo Leasing and other scandals rained. Then there was the 2005 referendum. ‘‘It was totally political stupidity,’’ Kituyi says. ‘‘Some of my colleagues in government got too full of themselves and thought since we are in government we can always get whatever we want. The arrogance of going to a referendum that was totally unnecessary broke the spine of the Kibaki government.’’
And then there were the Artur brothers, and the raid at the Standard Group.
‘‘Around the same time government threw away political capital on a very stupid thing,’’ Kituyi says, ‘‘the Margaryan and Sargasyan mercenaries from eastern Europe saga, total abuse of office. Again hubris. You are drunk with power and get carried away in delusions of grandeur.’’
‘‘These events resulted in a poor exchange rate between economics and politics,’’ Kituyi says, ‘‘so that our good work was not being positioned to be the basis for legitimate reelection.’’
But it wasn’t all gloom. For Kituyi, aside from applying more of his technocratic side and taming his rabble rousing elements, becoming minister did something else to him. ‘‘More than I had ever thought of and grasped intellectually,’’ Kituyi says, ‘‘I came to see what the government can do. Government controls 70% of the economy, and has the capacity to allocate poverty and to allocate wealth. That became very clear to me.’’ This realization informed Kituyi’s ambitiousness as minister, aware that he needed to establish sound policy and match it with leadership as he reversed the damage done during ‘‘the Biwott years,’’ in reference to his predecessor’s reign.
Of his long list of achievements, Kituyi singles out the scrapping of 34 business licences, which he says had made doing business cumbersome and set the stage for corruption at all levels.
‘‘Being minister demonstrated to me in a way that I have only confirmed through my intellectual and fiscal sojourn of what is possible if you have a leadership that has a clear idea of where it wants to go,’’ Kituyi says, ‘‘so when I tell people I know how to make Kenya’s trade work and know how to make Kenya an investment destination, I know because I have experienced it in practice as minister and as someone who’s interacted with governments which have done it.’’
The first time United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon headhunted Mukhisa Kituyi for a high ranking job as one of the UN Under Secretaries was in 2011. A vacancy for Executive Secretary had arisen at the Addis Ababa based United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). To root for Kituyi through official channels, Moon’s office called the office of Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, and requested the ambassador to reach out to the relevant authorities and activate Kituyi’s nomination as Kenya’s candidate for the UN job.
If Ban Ki Moon knew what was to follow, his office wouldn’t have made that call.
‘‘When the message got to the Kenyan ambassador in New York, the ambassador called the head of public service in Nairobi and informed him of the vacancy at UNECA,’’ Kituyi says, ‘‘but instead of asking the head of public service to nominate Kituyi, the ambassador instead asked that he be presented as Kenya’s candidate for the job. The head of public service obliged.’’
In the meantime, Ban Ki Moon’s office was still looking out for Kituyi’s name as Kenya’s nominee, but when this wasn’t materializing, Moon’s office made a second call to the office of Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the UN, and asked to speak to Dr. Josephine Ojiambo, Kenya’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN. ‘‘Dr. Ojiambo was asked why Kituyi’s name had not been presented for the UNECA job,’’ Kituyi says, ‘‘and unaware that her boss in New York had in fact nominated himself, Ojiambo called the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and relayed the information. The PS wrote a letter nominating me.’’
At the time, Kituyi was briefly based in Addis Ababa, consulting for the African Union on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). And so when the summit of African heads of government met in Addis to elect the UNECA Executive Secretary, Kituyi was in the vicinity.
‘‘On the sidelines of the summit,’’ Kituyi says, ‘‘the PS for Foreign Affairs whispered to President Kibaki that he should canvas for me among fellow heads of state in support of my candidature. But when the PS said this, President Kibaki’s Private Secretary bent over and told Kibaki in Kikuyu, ‘‘Don’t canvas for Kituyi. We have one of our own.’’ President Kibaki fumed, telling him, ‘‘Don’t speak to me in Kikuyu when I have non-Kikuyu ministers. Why are you telling me we have one of our own? Isn’t Kituyi ours?’’’’ Kituyi says he has alibis in the persons of two former cabinet ministers, Moses Wetangula and Dalmas Otieno, who were present as this transpired.
After the Addis debacle, Kituyi received a call from Ban Ki Moon’s office informing him of their embarrassment at Kenya presenting two candidates for the UNECA job. Moon’s office confessed that they considered the matter internal competition between two Kenyans, and opted to stay out of it. They asked Kituyi if they could withdraw his name, and consider him for a future position. That position arose less than two years later, and this time no ambassador was called.
Kituyi had not applied to be the Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), but after the first round of recruitment was complete - it was the turn of an African to lead the UN agency, a group of 69 eminent Africans, including Koffi Annan, wrote an open letter decrying the calibre of shortlisted candidates for the job. Some African governments and heads of state joined in the chorus. As a result, Ban Ki Moon canceled the process and set up a headhunting team, tasked to bring him four names of Africans who had the credentials and firepower for the job. Kituyi’s name was on top of the list, and after being grilled by the panel, Kituyi had a one hour session with Ban Ki Moon. The job was as good as Kituyi’s save for ratification through a vote by member states, who voted for him unanimously, twice.
‘‘In the final stage of being picked to lead UNCTAD,’’ Kituyi says, ‘‘the UN Secretary General called me and said, ‘‘It is important to inform your President that you as his citizen is being appointed to such a position.’’ That’s when President Uhuru Kenyatta was informed. Otherwise the Kenyan government had played absolutely no role in my nomination whatsoever.’’
This is how Kituyi became Kenya’s highest ranking international civil servant for 8 years, during which time he held two cabinet retreats between UNCTAD and President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government, training ministers to better deliver on the government’s development obligations. Then there was that time when Kituyi brought in Chinese billionaire Jack Ma to support youthful enterprise, but largely Kituyi’s international role had little to do with Kenya and more to do with how Kenya and the rest of the community of nations worked together to spur growth.
And then Kituyi resigned and returned home to officially launch his rumoured presidential bid.
From the time Kituyi arrived back in Kenya until now, his routine - at least what is publicly available - has been to reconnect with elements of the Young Turks - like Raila Odinga with whom Kituyi has had several lunches - and those who weren’t part of the group but who were fellow travellers during the second liberation, such as Martha Karua, Kivutha Kibwana and Willy Mutunga. I ask Kituyi whether he is trying to reincarnate 1992 through these loose formations.
‘‘I was about 10 years younger than most of the Young Turks, and the Young Turks phenomenon is from 30 years ago,’’ Kituyi says. ‘‘So a lot of those Young Turks today are my age plus 10 years, and you cannot reconstitute them as a team to win power. What it means is that while saying we look for each other as people who have travelled in a certain direction together, we have to open up space for new leadership to join us. We cannot own this process.’’
However, Kituyi says the mechanics of opening up the space have been humbling.
‘‘I was 22 years old when I was expelled from the University of Nairobi for speaking truth to power,’’ Kituyi says, ‘‘but today you meet 35 year olds who are sitting back and blaming the government and politicians for everything, instead of standing up to be counted as political actors. The second dilemma is that Kenyans are used to being organized around parties which peg their existence on ethnicity, where an older male is speaking to the rest of the country.’’
And so Kituyi is spending sleepless nights trying to create a new canvas for Kenyans to project their dreams, where political participation will not be limited to voting and supporting regional kingpins but go deeper to encompass the connection of everyday life to policy and leadership.
‘‘It is a frustrating yet rewarding phase in movement building,’’ Kituyi says.
And yet Kituyi is not living in his own little Utopia.
‘‘I am painfully aware that you cannot win power in Kenya as a lone ranger, and that people want to see an ethnic base behind you for them to take you seriously nationally,’’ Kituyi says. “So even if you’ve been mobilizing people who share a history with you, you need more than that. We will be offering Kenyans an option in leadership which is not just the traditional settling of scores between people who have fought each other before. This is where we are right now.’’
Kituyi’s last word? Two words.
First, if he becomes president, Kituyi’s first move shall be to reinstate the National Economic and Social Council (NESC), which he shall anchor in law so that no future president can scrap it. You need a roadmap, Kituyi says, otherwise you’re going nowhere. Secondly for Kituyi, all this talk shall be cheap if corruption persists. Luckily for Kituyi, he says, he has many weaknesses but corruption isn’t one of them. Kituyi proposes slaying the monster without being vindictive - so that those exiting from state leadership don’t feel targeted, a lesson Kituyi learnt from Kibaki.
I ask Josiah Omotto, Kituyi university classmate and comrade, who Kituyi really is.
‘‘Mukhisa is a bridge builder,’’ Omotto says. ‘‘When he was a Member of Parliament, I regularly went for a drink in Parliament and we used to rub shoulders with politicians from across the aisle. That’s how I first met the Total Man (Nicholas Biwott) and many others for the first time. If he becomes president, Kenya will migrate from a kakistocracy to a meritocracy. Mukhisa surrounds himself with think-tanks (both a strength and a weakness), and suffers no fools.’’
And being the good politician that he is, Kituyi has a final-final word.
‘‘There is a constituency that is about how we can think of transforming Kenya so that we can rebuild and have an even better Kenya post-Covid, because the transition is not about the election next August but about an agenda for national renewal, ’’ Kituyi says of those he seems to excite, ‘‘but that constituency is not an electoral majority and so you want to speak to other people. And by speaking to other people it doesn’t mean I agree with them. Some you may agree with, others you may leave by the wayside, others may lead you to other people.’’
Watch this space, Kituyi seems to say. There will be movement from the ongoing motion.
‘‘As Kivutha Kibwana puts it,’’ Kituyi says, ‘‘Tungali tunatafutana.’’