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Preaching by: John J. Malone, Sr - JABSBG*

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Misbegotten Hopes - Comments (2)

Printer Friendly Category: Behind the Lines,Venture in Africa
Author: John Malone
Date: 20th July, 2006 @ 11:48:12 PM

Everybody worships somewhere.

While a young “campus radical” in the university, we said “liberals pray in the courts.” It was more derogatory than the mere pun of it.

Today, many people, especially Christians, worship at the ballot box. If only the “right guy” gets elected. For about a decade, this was the hope of many in Kenya, and everyone connected with the US State Department with regard to Kenya. Daniel Arap Moi became the personification of evil in the sight of many. He was so corrupt. He was the problem with development. He was the only problem in the way to the promised land.

Having been completely disillusioned with the political process in my youth, and my eyes opened to the Scripture at age 24, I have disdained the hope of the ballot box. In my view, leaders of any nation are truly representative of the moral state of that nation, and as a Christian, consider it much more important to pray for the leaders we get than to help arrange them, whether by lobbying or voting.

Nonetheless, I am free to use whatever political process my citizenship or other standing may give me, including voting or lobbying.

When it’s time to vote, I begin to hear from brothers and sisters I never hear from at other times. They are usually dire about the candidate of their choice. sometimes I know the candidate, and other times I don’t. In either case, I rarely consider that it matters much for whom I vote.

In the case of Kenya, my desire was the Biblical one, that we could live quiet and productive lives in the endeavors we believed God had for us, including our training venture. Over the course of years as an investor in a an underdeveloped foreign country, I had occasion to meet very many of the Kenyan politicians, including President Kibaki, several cabinet level ministers, and other men and women of influence. On occasion, I was President Moi’s guest of honor at university functions, and although I have met his predecessor’s (Jomo Kenyatta’s) wife (Mama Ngina), I never met him.

With all this as a backdrop, when Moi was no longer eligible to run for office in 2002, and supported his hand-picked successor, Uhuru Kenyatta, son of the former President, against the coalition of “opposition forces,” I merely watched it with interest. My fear was that if a new coalition took office, they would plunder the state coffers afresh, just as the Moi government had done.

Soon after the opposition government overwhelmingly swept into office, I braced myself as Kenyans danced in the streets, and the US State Department personnel danced in their offices. They were all declaring a new day of honest government in Kenya, while I knew some of these fellows, an was especially aware of the prominence of corrupt university political hacks in the successful campaign.

While Washington was dancing and cheering, the new government in Kenya immediately undertook to plunder. In the case of our venture, a the “James Carville” of President Kibaki’s campaign was appointed to lead the JKUAT.

Despite the fact that he held his degree in political science, Professor Nick Wanjohi was greeted at the technical JKUAT with a thorough-going protest, and the disdain of students and some faculty.

By June of 2003, before the ink was dry on his appointment, Wanjohi ordered our enormously profitable and successful venture seized by campus police force.

Our US embassy in Nairobi oscillated between being clueless, and cheering.

Comment by charles » 11th February, 2008 @ 09:50:08 PM

Correction: Mama Ngina (Kenyatta) is Uhuru Kenyatta’s mother and the wife of Kenya’s first president Jomo. Unless this an honest mistake, your suggestion is very loaded. So which is which.

Comment by John Malone » 12th February, 2008 @ 08:10:54 AM

Thank you, Charles, for the correction. It was an honest mistake.

The anecdote of my meeting with Mama Ngina is an interesting one, for she never told me sho she was at the time. She owned a farm next to a small piece of land I was grooming for a potential Kenya residence for my wife and me.

I went about one day to “meet the neighbors.” I met this very charming older Kenyan woman, and we discussed granchildren and Kenya for a couple hours while drinking tea and eating fruit.

It was only much later that my friends in Kenya told me with whom I had met.

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