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Viewing cable 09NAIROBI1077, A/S CARSON AND NSC SENIOR DIRECTOR GAVIN'S MEETING WITH

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09NAIROBI1077 2009-06-02 13:01 2011-03-07 00:12 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Nairobi
VZCZCXYZ0005
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNR #1077/01 1531322
ZNY CCCCC ZZH (CCY CHANGED SUB AD07127BA MSI5903 580)
P 021322Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9670
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L NAIROBI 001077 
 
C O R R E C T E D  C O P Y (CHANGED SUBJECT LINE) 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR ASSISTANT SECRETARY CARSON 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/27/2039 
TAGS: PREL PGOV KDEM PHUM PINR KE
SUBJECT: A/S CARSON AND NSC SENIOR DIRECTOR GAVIN'S MEETING WITH 
MINISTER FOR HIGHER ED SALLY KOSGEI 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Michael E. Ranneberger for reasons 1.4 (b) an 
d (d) 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY: Assistant Secretary for African Affairs (A/S) 
Johnnie Carson and National Security Council (NSC) Senior 
Director for Africa Michelle Gavin, and the Ambassador met on 
May 12 with Minister for Higher Education, Science and 
Technology Sally Kosgei. In a wide ranging conversation that 
focused on current political personalities and their 
aspirations, Kosgei confirmed that Kenya,s leaders are as a 
whole unwilling or unable to advance real reforms. Sustained, 
broad public pressure will be required to move leaders beyond 
their narrow political interests to serving the needs of the 
country. END SUMMARY. 
 
------------------- 
KARUA,S RESIGNATION 
------------------- 
2. (C) Concluding a long day of bilateral meetings, Assistant 
Secretary for African Affairs (A/S) Johnnie Carson and 
National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director for Africa 
Michelle Gavin dined at the Ambassador,s residence with 
Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology Sally 
Kosgei.  Kosgei opened the conversation by reflecting on the 
recent resignation of Martha Karua as Minister for Justice 
and Constitutional Affairs.  &Karua is a good woman, and an 
ally for reform,8 Kosgei remarked, but she &fell into the 
trap of believing that Kibaki actually seeks to reform the 
judicial sector.8 Frustrated in her ambitions for reform, 
Karua chose to resign, a move that Kosgei regards as 
unfortunate.  Kosgei noted that Karua,s replacement as 
Justice Minister, Mutula Kilonzo, used to be the personal 
lawyer to former President Moi.  &Kilonzo is a windbag and 
not strong enough to take on the vested interests8 of the 
current regime, Kosgei observed, but she expressed the hope 
that he would undertake at least minimal reforms of the 
judiciary. 
 
------------------------------------ 
PRESIDENT AND PM INCAPABLE OF ACTION 
------------------------------------ 
 
3. (C)Following A/S Carson,s observation that Prime Minister 
Odinga appears to be shifting the blame for the slow pace of 
reforms to the President,s PNU party, Kosgei reflected that 
the two principles have no difficulty reaching agreement on 
issues but for different reasons are each incapable of 
advancing reforms.  She noted from her own experience in 
cabinet meetings that &the two principles are in a mutual 
admiration club(in cabinet they always agree. In fact they 
should meet more often because they can reach agreement 
together.8 
 
4. (C) Concerning the President, Kosgei noted that Kibaki 
agrees to reforms in principle but is beholden to the corrupt 
interests of his inner circle.  Agreeing that the head of the 
Civil Service Francis Muthaura has accumulated inordinate 
control over government functions, Kosgei stated that 
Muthaura, Minister for Internal Security George Saitoti, and 
Minister for Foreign Affairs Moses Wetangula are all close 
advisors of the President. 
 
5. (C)Regarding the Prime Minister, Kosgei believes that 
Odinga truly wants to achieve the reform agenda but does not 
have the organizational discipline to do so.  &Raila has no 
office structure, no discipline in his life or schedule,8 
Kosgei commented, and quoted former advisor Salim Lone as 
observing that Odinga has made it this far in politics by the 
force of his personality without having to demonstrate 
managerial acumen. Though Odinga,s advisors are well 
intentioned, most don,t have government experience and he 
tends to surround himself with fellow ethnic Luos, Kosgei 
observed.  Odinga is unwilling to sack corrupt deputies, and 
is overly focused on protocol issues and ODM inclusion in 
appointment decisions such that it distracts his attention 
from the broader reform agenda.  Though Kosgei and other 
ministers have access to Odinga, he often agrees to meet late 
at night when he is tired and unfocused.  Close advisors to 
Odinga include the ODM whip Jakowo Midiwo, Agriculture 
Minister William Ruto, several members of Odinga,s extended 
family, and his wife Ida. 
 
---------------------- 
EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS 
---------------------- 
 
6. (C) A/S Carson raised our concerns regarding extrajudicial 
killings, in particular the Oscar Foundation murders.  Kosgei 
responded by noting that all security organs remain under the 
MINISTER FOR HIGHER ED SALLY KOSGEI 
 
control of Kibaki,s PNU party.  Because PNU leaders believe 
that Police Commissioner Ali did them a favor during the past 
election by cordoning ODM strongholds, Kosgei expects that 
the PNU will block any substantial police reforms and will 
retain close control of the police, GSU (paramilitary), and 
military in advance of the 2012 elections.  In this context, 
Ali is permitted to utilize extrajudicial killings to control 
organized gangs such as the Mungiki, which threaten to 
disrupt Kikuyu politics by operating in the heart of Central 
province.  The police freelance in extorting money from the 
gangs and execute legitimate critics such as the Oscar 
Foundation principles.  Noting that Ali does not take calls 
from ODM ministers, Kosgei wondered aloud why ODM has not 
forced the issue of his continued tenure during cabinet 
meetings. 
 
------------------ 
A POLITICIZED NSIS 
------------------ 
 
7. (C) Describing Gen. Michael Gichangi, the head of Kenya,s 
NSIS intelligence service as a &man who has no energy,8 
Kosgei stated that the NSIS is picking up reports of emerging 
popular discontent and plans to disrupt public rallies with 
violent protests.  However, she believes the President no 
longer reads NSIS reports and noted that Gichangi is more 
interested in collecting information on ODM leaders than 
issues of national importance. 
 
------------------- 
SUCCESSION POLITICS 
------------------- 
 
8. (C) A/S Carson noted that there is talk of an emerging 
Kikuyu, Kalenjin, and Coast political alliance to contest the 
2012 elections.  Kosgei acknowledged that Ruto (Kalenjin), 
Deputy Prime Minister Kenyatta (Kikuyu), and Vice President 
Kalonzo Musyoka (Kamba) are indeed discussing an alliance, 
but believes that the discussions are an artifact of the Waki 
Commission (COMMENT: Both Ruto and Kenyatta are believed to 
be on the Waki Commissions, sealed list of 10 architects of 
the post election violence. END COMMENT).  Ruto, in Kosgei,s 
view, is working with Uhuru to block key reforms and scuttle 
the Waki Commission,s call for a local tribunal to 
investigate the post election violence. However, she expects 
that Ruto will abandon Uhuru if he stumbles or is no longer 
useful.  Kosgei (an ethnic Kalenjin) expressed doubt that 
Kikuyu voters in Central and Kalenjin voters in Rift Valley 
will be willing to set aside the violence suffered at each 
others hands to form a coalition in 2012. 
 
9. (C) Reviewing other potential candidates, Kosgei noted 
that Uhuru is hindered by &laziness8 and a very hands off 
approach to running the Ministry of Finance. The recent 
submission of a budget containing &inaccuracies8 of more 
 
than 10 billion KSh ($130 million) has harmed Uhuru,s public 
image.  Minister for Internal Security George Saitoti &has 
been appointed to every position he has held8 and lacks the 
skills to fight effectively for the Presidency.  Deputy Prime 
Minister Musalia Mudavadi (ODM) lacks the energy and money to 
seriously challenge Ruto.  On the PNU side, Vice President 
Kalonzo Musyoka &appears to be a diminishing asset8 who 
frets that he will be overshadowed by Mutula Kilonzo. 
Concluding her tour d,horizon, Kosgei stated that Odinga, 
despite his flaws, remains the strongest candidate in a 
crowded field thanks to strong opposition credentials and an 
accessible personality. 
 
---------------------------------- 
THE REAL FIGHT TO COME: BOUNDARIES 
---------------------------------- 
 
10. (C) As the conversation drew to a close, Kosgei stated 
that she expects the constitutional review process to be 
contentious, but argued that the real political battle ahead 
will be over provincial and constituency boundaries. 
Painfully aware that their support was limited to Central and 
parts of Eastern province in the last elections, the PNU 
wants to divide Kenya,s 9 provinces into 19 in order to 
relax the constitutional requirement that successful 
Presidential candidates receive at least 25 percent of the 
vote in 5 provinces.  The PNU is also hoping to use the 
recently appointed boundaries commission to redraw 
parliamentary constituencies in their favor. 
 
11. (C) The Ambassador concluded the conversation by noting 
that the current challenge in advancing the reform agenda is 
mobilizing broad public pressure on the political class, but 
this goal is hindered by Kenya,s deep ethnic divisions. 
Kosgei agreed that people across Kenya are restive, and 
 
MINISTER FOR HIGHER ED SALLY KOSGEI 
 
predicted that the June 1 Madaraka day celebrations could 
turn violent. 
 
12. (U) This cable has been cleared by A/S Carson and NSC 
Senior Director for Africa Gavin. 
 
RANNEBERGER