Friday, May 2, 2008

Kalonzo at sea

Faced with a nation wide strike by prison warders this early in his watch, miracle man Kalonzo appeared momentarily at his wits end as he feebly declared it an act of mutiny. Not to be cowed, the ‘undisciplined’ officers laughed off his declaration even as they dismissed the committee he had cobbled up to study their demands. After a futile attempt at tough talking and apparently overwhelmed by the unfolding crisis, the minister quickly announced that their demands would be met promptly.

From the unfortunate events, I actually think Kalonzo has no management skills to boast of, never mind his numerous contentions to the contrary during his presidential campaigns. Granted, he has only recently been appointed to head the ministry in charge of prisons but with all the years in cabinet, he cannot possibly cry for time to ‘study’ the situation in those facilities. Certainly not for a man who wanted/wants to be president. The man simply hasn’t taken some time to figure out priority activities in his portfolio, preferring instead to follow the president around. He did quite a lot of that during Moi’s time, cheering along and letting the old man do the managing of just about every department. Kibaki most certainly won’t do that for him and he knows it. But will he let go off the old man’s coat tails for some work? No. Why? Raila will hog all the limelight.

And what happened to his determination to preside over a generational change in positions of leadership? He did not even seem to pause for reflection as he selected members for the prisons committee. It is business as usual for the ruling elite. Retirees, cronies and conflicting interests in appointments. Is Kalonzo capable of change? Or as he put it in his campaigns, a ‘paradigm shift’? I say no. Will he learn anything from Uncle Moody’s and Kamakil’s snub? Not with his increasing haughtiness.

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