Humiliation upon humiliation: Kiunjuri’s troubled relationship with Uhuru

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Former CS Mwangi Kiunjuri (left) with President Uhuru Kenyatta at a past ceremony.

The sacking of former Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture Mwangi Kiunjuri on Tuesday by President Uhuru Kenyatta brought to an end what has been a strained relationship between the two leaders.

Before his axing, which was a long time coming, Mr Kiunjuri was a marked man. The President had lashed out at him multiple times, sometimes in public.

During a meeting with Kenyans in Windhoek, Namibia, in March last year, Uhuru lambasted Kiunjuri for failing to take notes and ”ignoring Kenyans’ concerns” yet he was a government minister.

‘‘Look at my brother Kiunjuri. He isn’t taking notes. He never bothered to do so when you were raising concerns. Just because you didn’t address his docket (Agriculture), he didn’t see a reason to write,” Mr Kenyatta said as those in attendance applauded.

Months later, during the Nairobi International Trade Fair in October, Mr Kiunjuri was again blamed by the President for the agony of maize farmers across the country.

The President scolded the CS, threatening to sack him over irregular payments made to fictitious suppliers of maize to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) at the expense of genuine farmers. ”I swear before God, you try that again and you’ll see what will happen to you. We have seen what you did and we will follow you. Government money belongs to the people. Pay farmers first,” Mr Kenyatta said in a direct address to the CS.

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