Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, in Kenya noone is fired for incompetence, kindly understand our President’s anger after you fired a Kenyan General

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon dismissed the commanding general of the UN peacekeepers. A UN report had concluded that the July attacks on a civilian compound and a site which houses UN staff was due to a lack of leadership on the part of key senior mission personnel and it culminated in a chaotic and ineffective response to the violence. This sounds sensible enough. But it gets complicated:  the General happened to be Kenyan. President Uhuru predictably threw a characteristic tantrum over the issue and ordered Kenyan troops out of South Sudan.

Ban Ki-Moon may be bemused by this, he needs a lesson on Kenyan culture. I will give him one.

Mr. Moon, in Kenya no-one is held accountable for anything. When things go wrong, it is never anybody’s fault especially not the leaders’. Our leaders only take responsibility when things go right. They pat themselves on the back, on the cheeks, everywhere, especially the pocket. When things go right, you will see Kenyans lining up to be feted and praised and commended.  Had the July fight that went wrong and caused the firing of the General gone right, the General would have received accolades and praises from none other than the President himself. A journalist with nothing better to do and looking for a story would have hunted down the General for an interview. He would have done an article titled, “Kenyan General teaches the world how to do it”.  The editors would be happy with him and put the on a centre-spread in one of the feature magazine inserts starved of celebs and people of value. To be sure, he would have been in the Mashujaa day list next year. Mashujaa day is our version of Heroes Day – and we fete one and all, even those who were simply working in the line of duty.

We live in a country of rights with no responsibilities and obligations. In fact Mr. Moon, the word accountability is an alien word here and no-one is ever held accountable. We ushered in a new Constitution in 2010. And it gives Kenyans rights without any corresponding responsibilities and obligations. If you read our Constitution Sir, you will find certain interesting facts and you could partly understand why we do not hold people accountable for anything, and why you pissed-off our President.

The words “right(s)” and “freedom(s)” appear more than 340 times (including in the appendices) in the Kenya 2010 Constitution. The words “entitled” and “entitlements” appear 19 times most in reference to citizenship. The word “responsibilit(y) (ies)” appears only 16 times and none in reference to citizens The word “duty”, appears 3 times only, the word “obligation(s)” appears twice in regard to citizens. You may imagine that military service is a sacrifice and that those who serve there should know as much. Unfortunately Mr. Moon the word “sacrifice” does not appear at all in the Kenya 2010 Constitution.

Please do not take offence over the tantrum from our president. That one is like that. He himself will take responsibility for nothing, even when it is going wrong in his own office. He tells Kenyans that it is their problem and even reminds them when he goes on foreign trips in exotic lands like Israel. He says that we Kenyans have skills. Skills like stealing and tribalism. And to confirm as much, he runs one of the most notoriously tribal and corrupt government independence Kenya has ever seen. And when some disgruntled Kenyans shout too much, he convenes a PR circus called “Statehouse Summit”. There no one takes responsibility for anything, least of all him. He asks his juniors “Sasa mnataka nifanye nini jameeni”.  (Translation: What do you fellows want me to do?) Ma! (Translated from Kikuyu, the Presidents vernacular as: True story)


So understand his anger. He had not expected you to be so unreasonable as to hold a Kenyan General accountable for lapses that occurred under his watch. That is a very un-Kenyan thing to do. I know you claim there was a report. One that implicated the leadership and you had to act. “Aah ripoti ni kitu kidogo” (Translated: A report be a small matter) Reports do not mean much to the Kenyan establishment. They have never meant much. Don’t get me wrong. It is not that we do not do them. We do. But Mr. Moon, imagine you take those things called reports too seriously. Here, they are done and presented to the President with fanfare, speeches, photo-ops including selfies. They flip through them and if they do not like them especially because they are almost always implicated or their own business, political and other interests are threatened, they are thrown in the dungeon, forever. And with a flip of the hand they tell each other “Hii ni upuzi gani, sisi ni serikali bwana” (Translated: What nonsense is this, we are the government man). It you go to the government archives you will find a stack of them; Goldenberg, Ndun’gu, Ouko, Akiwumi, TJRC etc etc.

The President thinks the problem with you is imagining that you must act on a report. Don’t you have shelves or archives in New York where you sit? Hey Mr. Moon, wacha kuweka sura ya kazi kwa hizo reports (Translation: Stop putting face of work when it comes to the reports). They are not to be taken seriously. They are for PR. “Rudisha General wetu kazi.” (Translation: Return our General job).

So, Mr. Sec Gen, I hope you understand why our President was annoyed with you. Here we do not hold people accountable, we only take responsibility of things that go right and we do not take reports seriously. By the way, we hear there are war crimes in South Sudan. We hope that you are not planning anything stupid. Like taking anyone to ICC. And if you do don’t let our President know. I can already tell you what his response will be: “Bwana Sec Gen, ati ICC, heheheheheheheheheheeee”. I am not sure I need to translate. The language of laughter is the same the world over. Welcome to Kenya the land of the free. So free that we are free of accountability.

If you want to appease our feisty President, Mr. Moon, return our General job!

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  1. Its very true,but soon they will learn a lesson, I predict Uhuru will manage to finish his term and Jubilee will die naturally, I hope by then we will get a very radical president to write history,because corruption, impunity,tribalism and nepotism has become the manifesto of all this political outfits, you got it spot on.

  2. in kenya the worst we can do is to step a side thou not applicable to all, investigate yourself, absolve yourself from any wrongdoing and cameback in full force ,to continue from where you left !

  3. What would you do if you faced a militia with artillery and armour while you are only armed with personal weapon? What would you do if a 500 strong militia attacked your 140 strong position. The fact of the matter the unmis is wrongly constituted and not even the most proficient commander would deal with the situation in its current composition.

  4. That’s why we need change in our leadership,now we not supposed to vote as exercising our democratic right of electing our representatives, we ought to vote for positive change that might impact our welfare.Civil servants in entirety is a rotting fish which usually starts from the head,am optimistic that one day Kenya will be a better place maybe if i’ll attain my political stature,our leaders ought to be scrutinized both their behaviour & dealings,majority are supposed to be jailed or sacked because our leadership is dominated by incompetent & public looters,,

  5. And Kenyans defend corruption and incompetence depending on which tribe the culprit belongs, then turn around and complain about the worsening economic times. Fascinating people!

  6. Well explained, however before we heavily criticize the leaders, it is also good to remind Kenyans are naturally very corrupt. If you ever threw a polythene paper away carelessly, because you are done with content it carried, you are no different with the Anne Waiguru’s

  7. One this is for sure; poor leadership will never b immortal. A time is coming, n very soon when tribalists n corruptors will have no place in Kenya. Remember wot u sore is wot u reap. If u want gd yields ensure u choose gd seeds, otherwise bad seeds have a very short life cycle. It will only need one person, whether man or woman to change our country. May u b one?

  8. Professor, whether our General erred or not is not the subject. What annoys the President is that he is sacked by Mr. Moon without reference to him. Diplomacy at highest test. Does UN own the Kenya Armed Forces? Now they know who is CIC

  9. This is a star studded one….It was a shameful tantrum and an uncalled for pullout …..we owed an apology to those that suffered loss for acts of omission and commission by our General but our commander in chief did what he does best…read from his own script. ..

  10. The general was probably enjoying his ten o’clock tea and biscuits as civilians are being burchured and women are being raped and our President thought that Ban Kim Moon would be happy to hear that,Prof,that’s sad too bad

  11. Well said Prof. He behaved as if the position was reserved for a kenyan. I thought once the troops went for UNMISS they fall under command of the UN who did what they had to do to bring order and effectiveness. Unfortunately, our ‘National Pride’ could not allow us to let things to be done the way they should.

  12. Its never a talk to kenya Prof. Ki Moon acted responsibly but prezzo acted culturally. A trend inherited in kenyan leaders. Their blood vessels are full of tribalism….selflessness and impersonations.

  13. On this matter, I completely break ranks with you. I will never vote or support Uhuru as president in Kenya, but he has the right to pull out our troops from south Sudan and for a good reason. The manner in which this investigation was done, nothing shared with Kenya except an abstract, then a junior officials is called to be given the information, yet the report says clearly that the UN mission structure is rotten and insufficient to offer operation support…….then I read mischief. How many have been sacked where war has ran for years in DR congo, women raped and killed? Has the section leader who never heeded Ondieki’s instruction been court martialled? I guess not, he must have been from some western country. Siasa ya wanyapara wa New York hatutaki…..Ban Ki-Moon can go hang or go to the moon for all we care. They will be better of in SS without the ‘incompetent’ Kenyan troops I guess.

  14. It’s as if you have onother mother more motherly than Kenya. Drafting nonsense obout your own mother Kenya is a stupidity of high standard. Use the good English in your brain to advocate for your country. I will never be desperate to talk ill or despare of my self.

  15. what is wrong with replacing one commander with another. Kenya isn’t the only state contributing to the UNiMSS,. the general didn’t lose job or rank back home in the KDF. UN knows better than to soothe ineffective performance nor tolerate incompetence. The president must understand and learn how not to condone mediocrity at all levels and spheres of state-global affairs. To the president, please quit embarrassing this nation by embracing demerits na uongozi wa kifua. the child who throws tantrums that she will run away from home because the parents have corrected her.

  16. Our biggest problem is that the president is always drunk(drinking corruption) while his deputy is always in court(defending corruption) When are they going to start working? Get rid of these jokers and swindlers and save this country

  17. Once again on you so called desperate prof.,how can u waste your to.e,energy and ink to down things that purport your ancestor s leave alone your father is not a Kenyan?what do you what with Kenya and its presidency?You are just a proverbial biblical prodigal son,come home in manners you will eat and drink.Or else stop lecturing once more without giving us a solution.

  18. Some sycophants like Kindiki who call themselves professors should read this article so that they get to know where they belong to. I truly like your way of thinking Prof. Wainaina

  19. I have keenly read your article prof! I’ll be wrong if I delete or add even a single word. You have truly done more than enough research. We live in a country where none takes the responsibility both in government and opposition. Accountability has been totally neglected especially by our political fathers.

  20. Kenyan brainless monkeys will still vote for those incompetent, corrupt leaders, infact they are ready to die for them. Idiots. Thank God Trump will soon drop a nuclear weapon there

    • Just say the Truth, they are brainless imbeciles, they can’t think for themselves, they rely on gluttonous selfish politicians to think for them, please tell me a better term to describe such idiots, people that rally behind culprits, ethnicity/hate mongers,corrupt, they even vote for thieves! Tell me a better term to describe them!

  21. In kenya leaders dont believe one can mess while at the top and thats why we transfer a problem from one section to another,also our president might lyk to cteatea spirit of com radeship with the folks in uniform coz ones in a while he dons the uniform as a C in C.

  22. as long as the implications has touched one of our own even the MP N MCA thika will drop off their pants n walk naked in the scorching sun….i woundn’t wish to imagine the sight n the smell…..back to this….i ll tell u, this is a scandal in waiting… the spare……andu a nyumba

  23. Wow! Nice one.true uhuru takes responsibility for nice things only like sgr rail etc not for money lost thru corruption.also he likes showbiz. Infact he is a celeb.i wont b surprised if he does a song with william- its called a collabo here in kenya.

  24. There prof u are..av bin following ur articles buh u av always been defensive of the system…I think the winning of Trump gave you a new way into looking at things…now keep this up i like the abrupt change in ur articles….bravado

  25. When you are the commander in Chief of our Armed Forces, if ever you will be, you will take a decision different from a thrown tantrum then, and only then, will we have something to compare with the decision taken by our Honourable President. A decision taken by my President is my decision and if it’s a million times wrong, i will stick by it because shame if any on the President is shame on every Kenyan.

  26. #profMichaelWainaina your piece makes a good read but is devoid important details that would help us reach the correct conclusion. Sir, UNO is one organization that thrives on political innuendoes,diplomatic double-speak,regional balancing,trade interests,military calculations and the interests of the ever present

  27. Our constitution , Article 240 (8) The Council may, with the approval of Parliament—
    (a) deploy national forces outside Kenya for—
    (i) regional or international peace support operations; or
    (ii) other support operations; and ……Endelea kulinda katiba prezzo but following blind advise might turn unconstitutional and illegal

  28. reports by task forces and commissions are of no value in Kenya. in fact they’re shelved and left to gather dust somewhere. the same are acted upon immediately in the UN, an alien thing to a Kenyan.

    • Yes something is seriously wrong with me.
      This UN thing is a hoax,, what have they done in syria, what of Yemen just to mention a few?? So now S.Sudan has become soo central to them. Don’t you smell smthg fishy in the whole blame game? They just want to put one of their own to continue with their dirty game!!
      Only a naive person will turn a blind eye on this move.
      Indeed something is wrong with me.
      Does the professor has the whole details on what was the reason behind the sacking of the Kenyan General or he’s just blindfolded by the little media reports?
      Does he know that the whole thing was not by coincidence of the reason raised by UN but was well designed overtime?
      So professor here has become a military/security advisor to give directions n condemn the experts for the same?
      Does he think uhuru just woke up n decided to recall the Kenyan army?

      But in short Something is wrong with me if everything is right just because a professor says so.

    • governor learn to see positive things please out of others r u don’t know museveni sacked the man who was in charge when three air force jets ploughed into mt Kenya on thea way to Somalia? In West gate ,garissa university and Kenyans camp in Somalia people must have paid for it cause that’s y they get paid OK?

  29. To be honest I think huyu jamaa kuna vile alikuwa anajenga uhunye poa na zile ma deal za kdf za kuuza makaa hiyo area ndio kwa sababu uhunye ameumwa sana na by the way huyu jamaa ni kabila gani juu ana jina za tribe ka zote

  30. I dont know wen africa wl rise.refugees every where.wts u.n? Rebels every where.look at somalia.sudan.nigeria.why dont africa hv there own one strong army.remember wt qadafi said.where are those who call thmselves learned people.look hw china rised.korea.but to the power of God we shall rise one day.look africa …hunger an we hv everything.wt are peace keeping? Why not stop the war?

  31. Soldier:The Lord God a soldier,Exodus 15:3.Fighting the Lord’s battles, 1 Samuel 25:28.Boxing:Hand to hand fighting techniques does not warrant a justiable Soldier post Redundancy,that is not a sound logic “Bwana” Banki Moon !

  32. they threw mad at DJ Trunp now he is the president of the most powerful country in the world Malcolm Muggeridge once said “we have educated ourselve into imbecility” i see it being displayed here, there are may splendid things happening in kenya why dont you post them here

    • @Edwin Edwyn,The problem of being lazy to read and understand, it’s not your problem though,its the system,students are spoonfed and a complete exams leakage,no need to struggle!but anyway Prof is well versed with the current situation what he deviated away from is to praise evil in our government, that’s what you failed to get from this very Small piece,I pity you

  33. ITS GOOD TO SEE THE WAY PROFESSOR THINK ABOUT THIS COUNTRY .K D F IS A PROPER STRUCTURE FORCE IT CAN NOT BE CONTROL BY CHAINA COMMANDER. And this mission was a peace keeping and not law enforcement nb not to kill

  34. Prof I am impressed……when I started reading your articles…most people were against you…they felt like you were not supporting the “muthamaki”(Tribal Kingpin)……slowly people appear to be supporting you more…..people are awakening to the terrible horrors of corruption……the corruption that is becoming a daily tragicomedy in this country….with everybody blaming everybody else and nobody willing to take responsibility….

    • Alfred Kariuki Thanks for the observation. I think the most important thing is to be consistent and true to a course. People are not stupid. With time they will see your point. One must believe in something. Communicate it clearly and tirelessly without being derailed by sideshows. I am happy to be on the side of the truth without being worried too much who catches feelings. The basic measure for me is, “Is this true? “. “Would I repeat it if I met the person I am writing about face to face?”. “Would I repeat it in a court of law under oath?” If the answer is yes, then I am under obligation to say it and let the chips fall where they may. The rest will happen. Cheers bro.

  35. Even Somalia mission failed from the start,but we can’t withdraw frm there.I’ll tell u why.It’s because Raila articulated for the withdrawal.We’ll withdraw frm somalia when Raila opposes the mission.

  36. You are dont understand the command structures of this specific peace keeping mission.i wish you can get more facts as they are before you through your tantrums against the CIOAF.You are just but theorising a very technical security operation .you need to consult a security trained mind to teach you a few things on this matter.

  37. Prof. please pardon me for the feeling that you are only a book professor if at all you are one for the following reasons. You always look everything from a negative mind and you are too fast to criticize without proper research for information and as a scholar you should not be pedestrian with comment and coclutions. Do you want to tell Kenyans that the president was only mad about the demotion of the Kenyan general and no other reason and thats why he called back the Kenyan troop, tell us more about this not just what you wake up in the morning guessing and throws it to us, planting seeds of disatisfaction and discord.

  38. Being a political commentator does not mean throwing stones to everybody to look brave, take time, research, looks at pros and cons of the different issues. Desist from too much un factual writing.

  39. Professor ur a recruit of the west. From security experts, the commander was under induction. There were previous reports that UNMISS is poorly structured. why blame one person for a single attack. Let our troops come back home. We adore you. We are more enlightened than twenty years ago. Kudos CIC and our gallant soldiers

    • Ricatho Lopez my eyes are wide open .. but on some ideologies i dont support Professor Michael Wainaina – PhD wat is the need of talking ill of samone wen he is not around when he calls you so as u talk to him face to face you cant show up. this one professor was called by president he could not show up. only to say he was not invited formally . Bulshit .hiding behind as to solicite for donors , ur days are numbered . u wil kneel b4 God.and account

    • Kithaka M. Alfred I would have wanted to have an intelligent discussion with you. I do not expect everyone to agree with me and that is OK. But I find it difficult to engage with someone who makes their point through insults and foul language. I can’t. Sorry.

  40. and those blinded by blind allegiance find the prof stupid,those viewing through party/ethnic lenses think he is a sellout & those viewing from a neutral perspective can see reality seperate from :party,tribal or political divide affilliation

  41. Ricatho Lopez my eyes are wide open .. but on some ideologies i dont support Professor Michael Wainaina – PhD wat is the need of talking ill of samone wen he is not around when he calls you so as u talk to him face to face you cant show up. this one professor was called by president he could not show up. only to say he was not invited formally . Bulshit .hiding behind curtaz

  42. Prof as you are calling yourself, you are outright wrong on this.There are so many mistakes even bigger than this that Un forces in South Sudan had done.Why this irked the west more especially Usa is that Kirrs forces after overranning Machars forces in their celebration went into a, hotel where aids workers majority of whom were America and harrased and raped some.Note this preciously rape cases against civilians had happened before without intervention from Un or even Ban ki moon.But this, time round cos they raped uncle Sams daughter(Usa) he got angry and told Ban ki moon to act and act fast and ruthressly.Our commander being the scapegoat and sacrificial ram fell victim . So our president had a right to get angry for his general to get fired without being heard and without due process followed.So Raila being a sycophant of the west wants to impress them against our dear President.We are a sovereign country and should be treated as such.So stop this cheap commentry if you’ve not done foreign relations.

  43. Dönt waiste your time for nothing unamfanyia kampaini mtu abaye hana haja nawewe. Ameichi siazani miaka 50. Hakuna lolote amefanyia wana kenya. tuambie vile ame du. Wainaina tiga guchambia. Urachambia mundu uraria ruthiomi ruria waragia ? Tigana na mundu ucio wikagira kampeini tondu nindimui kuma riria ambiriirie uteti ehuta mwena ucio uri

    • James Mwangi Gachuri, to tell me to stop writing what I think about Uhuru because I share a language with him is an insult and I am being modest. I do not believe in the tribal narrative and if you had read anything I write, you would have known that by now. The fact that I do not support Uhuru and Jubilee does not mean I support Raila. My world is not divided into CORD and Jubilee. Yours is. And the is the big difference between me and you. YOu look at Uhuru and you see “mundu uraria ruthiomi ruria waragia”, ( a person who speaks your language) and on this account only you support him. You look at Raila and see “another”. When I look at both I see hopeless tribal kingpins who are taking the country to hell.

  44. I agree with Prof Wainaina. Remember it took the UN more than two months to come up with a report on this incident while it takes our President a day or two to react n take such a drastic step. The higher the job position, the higher the rewards and the greater the RESPONSIBILITIES.

  45. Please i beg you to replace the word KENYA with AFRICA because everything you explained in every sentence you wrote exactly applies in the entire continent.Best analysis i have read in my whole life.God bless you.

  46. Henry Sambai

    It was unfortunate that President Uhuru did not take into his calculation it’s central place in the peace process, the respect Kenya has gained over the years, but more importantly the thousands of Kenyan who are enjoying lucrative pay in South Sudan. Only because one Gen. Was fired. Sometimes we need to choose lesser evil.

  47. Lilian Cheruto, Carolyne Cheptot Shander, Moses Langat, Nelly Cheptoek, Damaris C. Meli, Pkemoi Poghon, Allan Rotich Naibei, Veronica Wanjiku, Kennedy Cordenda, Mwei Angeline, Malik Ningning Wero Sekel, Marie Chemwor, George Omondi, Linus Limatiang, Pius Kassachoon, Ramuzz Krope, Irene Chonde, Sally Birir I feel like slapping you for saying the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth.

  48. In kenya incompetent people thieves ask for light duties i wish for war in 2017 instead of being lead by fuckers raila should not concead atupatie guns we kill some unworthy looters

  49. Suppose not suppose that the claim the general and his troops are all incompetent,You won’t be drumming this lies here Mr wainana.It is not a secret anymore.Our institutions are incompentent and corruptly constituted .We can name them,the police,teaching professionals,Even our guards in a gated still perplex me how a teacher can down a school uniform and do exam for his student he is dating probably.Is this exam craze,or how things are going a nd will definately trend?.An yale college can lecture our professors here.They can write better essays.we should not defend incompetence in the name of an insult to our defence forces who are doing nothing in south Sudan.Let the boys come home and defend their borders.We know many scandals like charcoal burning,drugs ,money laundering are orchestrated by our forces.our traffic rules have been
    relaxed and under threat because our police have deviced smart ways of getting away money from traffic offenders.I doubt if you are a competent professor when i read such from you.Don’t be strict in your thinking .Incompetence is bad character.

  50. and infact, for your information if South Sudan goes on fire, its Kenya which will be affected most. Now that Kenyan army is out of S.S. who is taking care of Kenyans who are crowded there?

  51. Prof I dont know the exact details of the situation but there is a theory that Kenyan troops were not in Juba and the Chinese who were refused to take orders from our comader citing that they only take orders from Beijin. To complicate matters worse, Ban Ki Moons incompetency has ensured that the mission has no clear mandate. This is what I got from someone who is at the UN

  52. This is how all people should open their eyes and see what is happening in Kenya under Jubilee leadership,.. no wonder the President surrender himself in fighting corruption,.public resources are being taken at a higher rate.We don’t see people jails we only hear investigation is being carry out

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