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Viewing cable 06NAIROBI1077, MUSYOKA: LIES, LOVERS, AND MERCENARIES IN KENYA'S

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06NAIROBI1077 2006-03-09 01:01 2011-02-27 23:11 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Nairobi
Appears in these articles:
http://www.the-star.co.ke/
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 NAIROBI 001077 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/08/2026 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS PINR KE
SUBJECT: MUSYOKA: LIES, LOVERS, AND MERCENARIES IN KENYA'S 
POLITICS 
 
REF: (A) NAIROBI 945 (B) NAIROBI 988 
 
Classified By: PolCouns Michael J. Fitzpatrick, Reasons 1.4 (B) and (D) 
. 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY: Opposition politician Kalonzo Musyoka privately sees sabotage by supporters of a fellow presidential aspirant as behind the false story suggesting he was cutting a political deal with President Kibaki.  The reason for the Government's own visceral reaction to this story (and raiding the media house): Outrage by Presidential  wife Lucy Kibaki.  Ironically, Musyoka suggested that Wife Number 2, Mary Wambui, was responsible for the importation of the eastern European mercenaries that played a clear role in the media raids.  Musyoka stated that the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) would continue to work together, but he is clearly suspicious of his ODM allies and will place his presidential ambitions ahead of all other concerns.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
ODM Suspicions 
-------------- 
2. (C) Former Foreign Minister and Environment Minister Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka described for poloff March 8 the genesis of the Standard newspaper story claiming he had met secretly with President Kibaki on February 16.  (NOTE: The 
 
SIPDIS 
article -- denied by both State House and Musyoka -- set off political firestorms and police raids on the Standard Media Group, reftels.  END NOTE.)  Musyoka attributed the story to Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) nominal chairperson Prof. Larry Ngumbe and two others close to the party's charismatic de facto leader, Raila Odinga.  Ngumbe cooked up the story to make it appear that Musyoka was "selling out" to the Government for the sake of a ministerial appointment (Energy), thus discrediting Musyoka and clearing the way for Odinga's 2007 presidential candidacy.  Musyoka called Odinga the day the story broke (February 25) expressing his concerns that Ngumbe had fabricated the story.  Odinga reportedly dressed down Ngumbe and cautioned others in the ODM to avoid commenting on the story as it would sow divisions in the Movement, working to the Government's advantage.  When asked if he thought Odinga had been involved in any way in fabricating the meeting story, Musyoka initially said not, but then noted he could never be sure. 
 
As the World Turns 
------------------ 
3. (C) The Government's puzzling reaction to the story, which was far more damaging to Musyoka than Kibaki, lies in the continuing saga of Kibaki's two wives.  According to Musyoka (and many others), First Lady Lucy does not reside at State House with the President, but stays at their residence in Nairobi's Muthaiga suburb.  Upon learning that secret meetings with political figures could be taking place in State House, Lucy reasoned that other secret liaisons (with unofficial second wife Mary Wambui) could be transpiring as well.  She went to State House, where she stayed for two days to make her presence felt.  She further insisted that action be taken against the Standard (with which Lucy had a nasty public run-in in 2005), apparently for exposing the fact that meetings could happen in State House without her knowledge. 
 
Mary and the Mercenaries 
------------------------ 
4. (C) Musyoka also linked Wambui directly to the stories of eastern European (possibly Bosnian, Russian, or Ukrainian) mercenaries involved in the March 2 raids on the Standard media facilities.  Musyoka said he had personally met some of these individuals, who seemed interested in arms deals in the region.  ("How", they asked, "can we meet with (the DRoC's) Joseph Kabila?")  The friend who had introduced them later came to Musyoka concerned that these individuals were hit men, not arms dealers, and had simply wanted to meet Musyoka to be able to identify their target. 
 
5. (C) Musyoka said Wambui had been instrumental in bringing the mercenaries into play in Kenya.  Thanks to her good offices, they travel in Government cars with a security detail.  Wambui also apparently took a portion of them with her on a trip to Dubai, where she is alleged to have spent US$600,000 on unspecified merchandise.  Musyoka said he had heard of plans to secretly install a portion of the mercenaries in an office within the Police Criminal Investigations Division.  One of them, in fact, was to be appointed de facto deputy of CID.  (COMMENT: While Post has heard repeated suggestions that Mary Wambui and Stanley Murage (her man at State House) are behind the presence of the foreign mercenaries on the Government payroll, it strikes us as true irony if Wife Two's hired guns were indeed used to avenge a perceived slight against Wife One.  END COMMENT.) 
 
Presidential Aspirations 
------------------------ 
6. (C) Musyoka's presidential candidacy, and his calculations for the 2007 race, wove their way into several points of the conversation.  He flatly dismissed Odinga's presidential aspirations (conventional wisdom says Kenyans will not elect a Luo for president).  He expected Kibaki would not run for a second term. ("I don't know if it's the drugs they're giving him, but he's sleeping on the job.")  However, there are no other logical candidates among the President's inner circle, so the current leadership would be forced to turn to Uhuru Kenyatta as the default candidate.  In a race between Kenyatta and himself, Musyoka clearly believed he would have a national advantage over Kenyatta, who he thought would be limited to the Kikuyu vote.  (COMMENT: A scenario in which the remnants of NARC pick the leader of the official opposition to be their candidate would involve a mind-boggling number of political contortions.  We think it more likely Kenyatta will remain with KANU as a candidate. POL FSN points out that, as Moi's chosen candidate in 2002 (and still today), Kenyatta may be able to draw on that 
patronage in 2007, potentially pulling in a significant portion of Rift Valley support.  END COMMENT.) 
 
7. (C) Musyoka said his biography is in the works, likely to be published before the 2007 elections.  Unlike Odinga and Kenyatta, who have pedigrees dating back toindependence, Musyoka rose from humble origins and feels Kenyans need to know more about him.  An ethnic Kamba, he hails from a village far enough to the east that he had to worry aboutencountering Shifta rebels on his way to school.  His mother received no education and speaks only a few words of Kiswahili; his father received only a limited education.  This is the sort of background he wants Kenyans to know as they consider candidates for the presidency. 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
8. (C) Musyoka kept to an ODM script regarding the need to maintain a united front in the Movement.  But it was clear from his tone that rumors of trouble within the ODM are well-founded.  The Movement will hold together as long as there is an issue around which members can rally - the constitutional referendum which brought them together in 2005 and the Government's recent media assault serving the purpose nicely.  ODM is poised to put forward its own strategy for re-working the constitution, an exercise that may stick the individual members together a bit longer.  Ultimately, though, the ODM is a marriage of convenience unlikely to withstand the pull of individual political ambitions. Musyoka, like many of his colleagues, will stay with ODM only as long as it helps advance his prospects for the presidency. 

END COMMENT. 
 
BELLAMY