Like the waves make towards the pebbl’d shore, so do our minutes hasten to their end, said William Shakespeare. And so, as we hasten to slam the door shut on 2015, we remember the memorable moments of the year.
1. Weston Hotel IT Wasn’t me
The year started off with muffled gunshots, tear gas and the screams of frightened children. Activists and the children of Lang’ata Road Primary School were protesting a private developer’s attempt to fence off their school playground on January 19, 2015. Five pupils and a police officer were injured. The developer was said to be associated with Weston Hotel, who denied the allegations.
2. Keter and the Matafakas
A week later, Nandi Hill legislator Alfred Keter and nominated MP Sunjeev Birdi dialled the wrong number. At the Giglil weighbridge on January 25, 2015, Keter went into an expletive-ridden frenzy lashing out at officers manning the bridge. Little did he know that he was being filmed. Keter was protesting because Birdi’s truck had been detained for lacking an exemption permit as required by law. The matter is snaking its way slowly along the dark labyrinths of the justice system.
3. Murdered before dud CCTV cameras
On February 7, 2015, Cotu deputy secretary general and Kabete MP George Muchai was shot ‘execution-style’ in his car, together with the bodyguards who accompanied him. The shooting took place around 3am at a roundabout not far from Nyayo House. Virulent conspiracy theorists pointed fingers at Cotu leader Francis Atwoli who had been verbally slugging it out with Muchai over corruption allegations.
4. Wangusi versus television
February also saw Kenya’s biggest television stations switch off their digital signals for three weeks in protest due to a row with the government over the migration from analogue to digital transmission. The analogue signals for KTN, Citizen, NTV and its subsidiary QTV were turned off over the weekend of February 16, 2015. Only state-owned broadcaster KBC and K24 TV remained on air.
5. Blood and tears
On April 2, 2015, Al-Shabaab militants carried out a massacre at Garissa University College, killing 148 people, most of them students. The armed terrorists held the students hostage in a 15-hour siege until four militants were killed by security forces. More than 550 students were evacuated and 79 were injured in the standoff. Kenyans were terribly upset that the elite Recce Company took hours to get to the college and neutralise the murderous rascals, apparently because the police chopper was not available.
6. Obama comes ‘HOME’
Come July 28, 2015, son of the soil, US President Barack Obama finally visited his father’s homeland. No one remembers what he spoke about. But everyone remembers Kidero’s grass and yes, Air force One. And CNN, what was that nonsense about hotbed of terror’ yawa
7. The Burning Spear
On August 28, 2015, Kenyan javelin sensation Julius Yego made history when he annihilated the field with a monster throw to win Kenya her first major field event gold medal at the World Championships in Beijing, China. Yego’s historic moment came a day after Nicholas Bett gave the country its maiden 400m hurdles world title as ‘Baba Yao’ Ezekiel Kemboi wrote history as the finest steeplechase runner of all time.
8. Waiguru’s light duties
One moment, the National Youth Service was a revelation and a revolution, sweeping through slums building roads and toilets and employing thousands of young people. It was swimming in cash, but so were a few connected individuals who were siphoning off its coffers the way an alcoholic guzzles booze. Devolution Secretary Anne Waiguru refused to step aside saying she was a whistleblower.
But after three months of appearing daily in the media, Waiguru couldn’t take it anymore and on November 22, 2015, the embattled CS resigned, asking the president for lighter duties. The son of Jomo is still reflecting on the matter.
9. Imperially broke
Come October 13 and the Central Bank woke up in a foul mood and put Imperial Bank under receivership. The regulator revealed it had taken the drastic decision after learning that “unsafe and unsound business conditions to transact business” existed in the bank. Imperial Bank, classified as a mid-tier lender that ranked 17 in the industry had Sh58 billion in deposits. Some 52,398 Kenyans who had accounts with Imperial Bank must still be sweating.
10. The Holy Father in Kenya
The Pope visited Kenya from November 25 to 27. During his three-day visit, Kenyans behaved so well you would not have heard a mouse squeak. Somehow, the event reminded Kenyans of the beatification of Sister Nyaatha, a historic event that was given a total blackout by jealous international media.
11. BAT smokes them out
This December, Martha Karua became the second politician to be linked to the BAT bribery scandal after Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula was accused of being a beneficiary of the cigarette manufacturer’s bribes in 2012. The ‘Iron Lady’ has denied ‘eating’ anything and the British Broadcasting Corporation will be oozing odious smoke when Wetang’ula takes them to court.