Three Of A Kind: John Michuki Robert Mugabe And Abdoulaye Wade

Kenya mourns the passing of arguably the most decorated Minister in the past decade. Mr. John Njoroge Michuki of the Michuki Rules passed on at the Aga Khan Hospital on Tuesday night. Political friends and rivals have abandoned their amity and rivalry to pay glowing tributes to the fallen technocrat.


I for once feel I could sit out on this one. I am ambivalent on this one, I don’t know whether to mourn his death or celebrate his life. I am lost for emotion for the fallen octogenarian.  My lack of remorse should however not be misconstrued to mean a lack of sensitivity or being out of grain with the national grain.

I however have reservations about appraising the life of a man who has been at the helms of power since pre-colonial times. Mr. Michuki who died at the age of 80 has had the opportunity to serve in almost all facets of social-political and corporate Kenya. He has had time to prove himself but most notably others and more so the young generation or my generation have found it extremely difficult to create niche’s the thick of things in Kenyan society.


Michuki and his over their shelf-life African technocrats and politicians epitomize what is primarily wrong with our continent. 'We as a people have been unable to discern the time and season of getting

new wine into new wine-skin, when the times are right’. Abdoulaye Wade is past his 80s, he has the knack though of thinking that he is indispensable to the Senegalese people, he thinks that Senegal’s institutions are dysfunctional without him. Mugabe for his part is almost 9 decades old. He runs his country like a barns for one of his many wives, power has corrupted his person so immensely that he probably forgot that he is Zimbabwe’s president and not Zimbabwe’s owner.


The old geezers in Afro-politic belie that we as a people have been unable to create a finite demarcation between institutions and personalities. Mugabe thinks he is Zimbabwe’s government. He leads the country in a Machiavellian style unfit for stone-age band societies in the world. Mr. Wade thinks he rules by divine right. Africa is not replete with examples of statesmen who retire in grace, it is awash instead with examples of leaders who die of old age, from other non-communicable diseases probably worrying about an imminent coup-detat or from the bullet (*see Gadhafi)


The passing of Mr. Michuki might be bemoaned by many a Kenyan over, Ifor one won’t be shedding a tear over his passing to glory. For death, be symbolic, in the physical or political allows society to regenerate. It allows for new life and vigour. That is why we African’s name our children after elders in their family line. Death is an intergral part of societal self-renewal. Most African governments are way over the top when it comes to age, and that, that my friend is the cause of sclerosis that is so often the norm in African bureaucracies.



Alex Ndungu Njeru

BA (Development Studies)


Of Serving To Nurture New Service Men

The continent of Africa is replete with rulers who prefer to leave office through their own death than through other more noble means