Soft power. You never see it during public rallies and national days. It is always behind the scenes from where they move mountains.
They have political heft from wielding soft power: Founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta had Charles Njonjo, the then Attorney General, Mbiyu Koinange, a Minister of State and brother-in-law,
Retired President Moi had Nicholas Biwott while former President Mwai Kibaki had Francis Muthaura, Prof Nick Wanjohi, Matere Keriri and Dr Joe Wanjui.
Which Kenyans calls the shots in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government? Who wields soft power? Besides Jubilee Party chair Raphael Tuju-the CS without portfolio- and his deputy, David Murathe, here are all the President’s men…
Alongside his mother, former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta, Muhoho is the chaperon of the Kenyatta family’s vast business empire which sweeps across agriculture, education, finance, hospitality, insurance, media, equity, property and real estate.
The President’s brother holds political sway and is consulted on major decisions with political significance ramifications. For instance, Muhoho and his mother played major roles in securing President Uhuru and Nasa leader Raila Odinga’s truce culminating in the March 9 ‘Handshake’ which calmed bitter political waters after last year’s protracted elections.
The Kenyattas and the Odingas come along way: Raila’s father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, was instrumental in ensuring Kenyatta was released from prison-even Jaramgi thumbed his nose at stepping down for Jomo to ease his entry into parliament.
During the burial of Kikuyu musician Joseph Kamaru, Raila recalled how his father pushed the colonial government in the Legislative Council (Legco) to release him before Kenya could attain independence.
When Uhuru was born at Aga Khan Hospital Nairobi on October 26, 1961, it was Jaramogi who paid the mother and son a visit, according to Freda Shibonje, the nurse who helped deliver him and who met Uhuru in Kakamega during Mashujaa Day on October 20.
“If you want to know how deep those ties go, when Raila underwent a head surgery in 2010 to remove fluid on his brain, the Kenyatta family delivered a pickup full of goats to his Karen home. Who was in the front? It was Muhoho Kenyatta. The First Family, including Mama Ngina, spent the night at his home. Forget about political rhetoric. You can’t separate those two families.
Other members of the wider First Family said to have heft include Uhuru’s maternal uncle, George Muhoho.
By virtue of his position, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) Director General has unhindered access to President Uhuru.
But apart from delivering intelligence briefs, Kameru is influential in the day-to-day running of government including a crucial, little-spoken role in also being part of the behind the scene personalities behind the ‘Handshake.’
Kameru is also believed to have pushed for the appointment of Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji, formerly of the NIS and DCI George Kinoti who have made good use of intelligence reports in fighting graft and influencing public discourse in media space.