Drama MP Caused While Riding President's Motorcade to Nairobi

  • Former Ndia MP James Njiru, a KANU stalwart and a political confidante of Kenya's second President Daniel Moi had a once in a lifetime opportunity to ride in the official presidential convoy in 1989.

    Retired Archbishop Rev David Gitari in his book, Troubled But Not Destroyed, painted a clear picture of a man who was close to Moi, a matter that was reflected by the president's decision to let Njiru ride in his convoy while he took a military plane back to Nairobi.

    Kenyatta University don and historian Professor John Gathogo who reviewed the book in 2014, told Kenyans.co.ke on Wednesday, November 20, that the decision by Moi would not have raised too many eyebrows.

    Kenya's second President Daniel Moi in his official presidential vehicle in 1978

    "Moi was using Njiru to stem any sort of uprising from the likes of Mwai Kibaki. He was not popular in the Jaramogi or Matiba way, but he was popular and useful in his own right," Gathogo narrated.

    While riding in the president's convoy, Njiru got carried away and stopped to address a rally at Ngurubaini Market in Kirinyaga County, a matter that landed him in Moi's bad books.

    The professor narrated that the morning after Njiru's much-talked-about trip, he was ordered into State House to answer to charges of attempting to overthrow Moi's government.

    Gathogo clarified that the decision to summon the legislator might not have been Moi's initial idea, but as a result of pressure from other leaders around him who felt that Njiru's actions were tantamount to treason.

    "The president was incited by his handlers and influential politicians around him to summon Njiru and clip his wings before he went too far again," he stated.

    Reverend Gitari revealed that Njiru had endeared himself to Moi so much that he could get away many misgivings.

    "He went too far, but because he was hitting hard on Moi's perceived enemies and those who were perceived not to be too loyal, he believed he was free to do whatever he pleased. His summon to State House was more of his political genius coming to an abrupt end," the professor narrated.

    The one-time Kanu Chair, Kirinyaga Branch, James Njiru in an undated photo.

    While he did not receive much of a punishment for his actions but the event shook him to the core and served as a reminder that he was not an infallible member of the ruling party

    Njiru passed on in June 2013, followed by archbishop Gitari three months later in September.

    President Daniel Arap Moi and Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Kenya in November 10, 1983.