Monday, September 14, 2009

Whats Jimmy Kibaki up to?

In the footsteps of his father? Jimmy's moves raise queries : Daily Nation

President Kibaki's eldest son Jimmy Kibaki with Prime Minister Raila Odinga at a past function. PHOTO/ FILE

President Kibaki's eldest son Jimmy Kibaki with Prime Minister Raila Odinga at a past function. PHOTO/ FILE 

By NJERI RUGENE and EMEKA-MAYAKA GEKARAPosted Tuesday, July 21 2009 at 22:30
  • Kibaki son's tours to popularise new group seen as political tactic ahead of 2012 poll

Since President Kibaki's first son, Jimmy, began touring the country, many questions have been raised as to the intention.

He has been a frequent visitor in his father's Othaya constituency, meeting local business community and youth groups. His latest such visit was on Thursday.

Jimmy has been spearheading the Simama Kenya, an initiative which, he says, is aimed at empowering the youth. And, even though he insists it is a non-political cause, but his entourage has been largely made up of politicians.

The effort which Jimmy, a businessman, is pushing on with a group of "youthful" MPs is causing disquiet in the political and NGO circles.

According to the businessman, Simama Kenya Youth Initiative – to be registered as a trust soon – is intended to economically support young people between 18 and 40 years and reconcile communities.

He says the campaign was motivated by last year's post-election violence which exposed the country as polarised.

Jimmy says his campaign was also borne out of the fact that 70 per cent of the Kenyan population comprised the youth, many of them jobless and impoverished.

"We want to fight poverty and promote a non-violent culture among the youth by involving them in productive business activities to improve their living standards," Jimmy told the Nation in an interview.

"We are a voluntary and non-partisan group that also aims to create a new brand of young leadership," adds the Nairobi-based businessman.
Raundi hii hakuna mchezo (Jokes aside this time) is the clarion call for the lobby.

The crusade kicked off last month in Mr Kiema Kilonzo's Mutito constituency. The ODM Kenya MP and Mr Tony Gachoka, the former director of protocol in Prime Minister Raila Odinga's office, are the founder members.

Other MPs associated with the group are Mr Abdulrahman Hassan of Wajir South, Mr Kambi Kazungu (Kaloleni), Cherengany's Joshua Kutuny, Jeremiah Kioni of Ndaragwa and Agriculture assistant minister Kareke Mbiuki.

The Nation has also learnt that key trustees of the initiative comprise some influential and youthful businesspeople in the country. But critics of Simama Kenya such as National Youth Convention and the Youth Agenda have cast doubts on the group's primary motive.

"Some of these people have no history of fighting for the youth. They want to hijack the youth agenda for political interests," says NYC convener Emmanuel Dennis.

Ms Susan Kariuki, the deputy director of the Youth Agenda lobby, says Jimmy's initiative does not represent the interests of young people.

"Does this group understand the problems of young people in this country?" she poses.

ODM nominated MPs Rachel Shebesh and Musa Sirma have also dismissed the movement, linking it to the 2012 election campaigns.

Mr Sirma says the group is made up of "enthusiastic" political greenhorns struggling to get a bearing in a complex political environment.

Political agenda

But Jimmy denies that his group is pursuing a political agenda.

"We are not a political movement but a socio-economic one. We are driven by the need to create an environment where people can work freely and express their views at the same time," says 46-year-old Kibaki.

In Nyeri, for instance, he says there are at least 10 youth groups, all pushing politicians' interests. Such groups can morph into one to create a strong resource base for their activities, he notes.

There has been speculation that the movement is part of Jimmy's strategy to inherit the Othaya seat and campaign for Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta for the presidency in 2012.

The question being raised in the political circles is why he would embark on countrywide tours instead of zeroing in on Othaya if that is his interest.

Though Mr Kibaki has not publicly declared interest in the Othaya seat, he has been making frequent visits to the constituency where has bought land next to their home and is building a house.

His association with MPs from Rift Valley such as Mr Kutuny, an ally of Agriculture minister William Ruto, is seen in some quarters, as part of efforts to build an alliance between the central Kenya elite and communities in Rift Valley.

Presidential candidates

Mr Gachoka's involvement after his exit from the Prime Minister's office has also raised eyebrows among Mr Odinga's associates, especially MPs from Luo Nyanza.

But Mr Gachoka, the team's spokesman, rules out any ill-intention: "We want to bring the youth and country together."

The fact that the Simama Kenya founders – Jimmy, Gachoka and Kilonzo – campaigned for different presidential candidates (President Kibaki, Mr Odinga and Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka respectively) in the last elections has sparked murmurs that the three could be hiding something up their sleeve.

However, Jimmy remains non-committal on whether he will seek the Othaya seat, saying his interest for now is in business and creation of opportunities for the youth in ICT, agriculture and trade.

He says he will quit from Simama Kenya board when the initiative stands on its feet for younger professionals to take over.


  1. Submitted by spanlamaz
    Posted July 24, 2009 10:25 PM
    This young man aint gonna do nothing for the youth. all political. what does the meeting with the businessmen have to do with the youth! All political

    Submitted by Ella
    Posted July 24, 2009 04:27 PM
    When anyone posts a comment after reading a story here, please try to make the comment your personal opinion. Most comments posted here tend to repeatedly use "we know your motives, we cannot be fooled, etc". Whose other persons opinion do they represent, not mine I would hope.

    Submitted by KINYASHTRADING
    Posted July 24, 2009 12:34 PM
    Jimmy is just throwing corn to catch the youth with the same old promises, tutajenga taifa,seems like we kenyans get carried away by these rich famous kids, mtoto wa kibaki.shit. Your headmaster or headmistress can our country better than this guy.He is rich for since birth he access to all the goodies money could buy, now he feels sorry for the youth,swallow the corn and vote for Kinyash in2012 am coming home. ,

  2. Submitted by rijonah
    Posted July 24, 2009 10:02 AM
    Everyone is trying hard to make a better future for themselves and their children.What is wrong with Jimmy being he comes from a well up familly?Just because he has had a better life than others does not disqalify him from championing the interests of others,who said you have to be poor to know about poverty?.All other youth innitiatives should continue and stop building stumbling blocks for Jimmy's innitiative,Everyone is free to do their thing...

    Submitted by urlike
    Posted July 23, 2009 11:41 PM
    To use unemployed youth when necessary,get power like any other useless politician in Kenya,go to parliament and embarass Kenyans like his dad has done.Kibaki has really shamed Kenyans,till i start missing Moi.

    Submitted by boithi
    Posted July 23, 2009 11:13 PM
    jimmy your dad said the same thing so the other politician but as soon they became what they want they forget why they are there in first place you have long way to go jimmy to convince kenyan youth that you will be different.

    Submitted by antoinekembola
    Posted July 23, 2009 10:44 PM
    Mtoto wa nyoka ni nyoka!!

    Submitted by wawerugithiri
    Posted July 23, 2009 08:11 PM
    If his fathers legacy is anything to go by, he should never be let to access any political power.

    Submitted by vgogero
    Posted July 23, 2009 07:06 PM
    Jimmy should first visit the youth grups lie Dandora Youth to see the good work that they are doing and find out how he can assist . They should provide funding mentorship and project proposals

    Submitted by kingaiya
    Posted July 23, 2009 03:07 PM
    I'm sorry to say that,the man looks like a moron! I can't trust that kinda of guy take any public seat. It's wrong to judge the book by the cover but the preface tells it all...... God forbid

    Submitted by mzeemoja
    Posted July 23, 2009 02:44 PM
    Othaya like Baringo has only known one sided political game. Jimmy will be subjected to competitive politics and he might as well face the Moi's way. Anyway he has right to initiate projects of his choice.

    Submitted by mmtairo
    Posted July 23, 2009 02:38 PM
    hey, let the kid spend his money helping the youth of his constituency....... better him who is helping than others who have and are doing nothing. whether or not he is eyeing a political seat is inconsequential. or would you people rather he waits without helping anyone and still vie for the seat....?

    Submitted by mkenyamacho
    Posted July 23, 2009 12:25 PM
    Jimmy was born on an ivory tower and has lived on an ivory tower all his life. He cannot truthfully empathise with the needs of 99% of Kenyan youths and one wonders what he is up to. His father can because he grew in poverty and built himself single handendly without parents to fall back to. Jimmy had better forget Othaya seat, change is needed there. And he better watchout because his political acumen is very low and he can easily be used and misled to endager himself and his family especially his father

    Submitted by ngaiflex
    Posted July 23, 2009 12:03 PM
    Jimmy Jimmy have a right to do what you want...Just hope its not an opportunity for project II!The first on fell flat....That said,I absolutely despise the comparison btn Jimmy and Raila.ITS STUPID!Raila is not an heir of his father.He didnt take his principles,his constintuency,his money or his party.You cant compare Raila to Giddy or Jimmy.Oh and I find it often convenient how the 'youth' card is played when our fathers are retiring.Dont you?:-P

  3. Submitted by mureithijm
    Posted July 23, 2009 11:37 AM
    Because many rich people never care about youth or the poor,they have the reason to panic when jimmy is doing what many Kenyans should be doing.If every able person in Kenya can do something to help the needy no matter how small,poverty in Kenya will be a history.Keep it up Jimmy.Let the greedy Kenyans continue panicking.

    Submitted by Newshawk
    Posted July 23, 2009 07:46 AM
    Kenyans labor like Thomas Aquinas over a rat-dog's pedigree! Let Jimmy Kibaki do what wants. Kenya is a free country and asking the young man where he has been is very unfair. Do your thing and let Jimmy do his. He has the money to help our youth, even if only 10, most of the people commenting here have not helped anybody money wise or thro ideas.

    Submitted by Jellyfish
    Posted July 23, 2009 01:47 AM
    Njerindiva thats a question only Othaya residents can answer. It's their constitutional and democratic right to choose whomever they want. Jimmy enjoys that same right to run just like Raila, Eugene Wamalwa and Uhuru. Kenyans need to learn the rules of democracy. You may not like Jimmy but you cant take his rights away.

    Submitted by kaachonjo
    Posted July 23, 2009 01:42 AM
    Kenyans should not complain when parliamentary seats are inherited by sons, daughters,brothers and wives, because when the seats are decleared vacant and come election day they vote and hand over the seats to the said family members, i wont be surprised if one day i hear that a cat or dog has inherited his masters parliamentary seat

    Submitted by musti
    Posted July 23, 2009 12:45 AM
    Yet another dynasty on the way mind you the way our media is promoting such pple.Nation do you have any idea about HUNGER in Turkana District.AL-Jazeera was running disturbing news about hunger in Kenya yet all ur pple can write is about Jimmy.Jimmy take'Posho' to Lodwar.

    Submitted by miwanyu
    Posted July 22, 2009 11:08 PM
    The problem with some of us who arent the sum of us interested in the goodwill of people is to play the role of Debbie Downers...Let him prove his worth before jumping on his skin. In any event if you are suspect of his intent what are you doing in his stead, are you participating in any constructive issue in the nation? Until then hold your silence

    Submitted by petert
    Posted July 22, 2009 09:19 PM
    Leadership begins at a young age not 46, thats pure selfish politics that he wants to use to further his interests in the name of helping youth. All this is bullcrap

  4. Submitted by ThinkKenya
    Posted July 22, 2009 08:49 PM
    its sad that most of the kenyans just see political motive in everything. I appreciate that we have a guy like this who is thinking about people, if he want to be a politician who care after all how many do we have in the parliament just warming the sits....keep up Jim, if you have any political ambition i appreciate that you are thinking about serving people....

    Submitted by mzee_moja
    Posted July 22, 2009 07:43 PM
    Mr. Jimmy we are not fools, just declare your interest. We already know you want to inherit your daddy's seat. Come out openly big bro, stop hiding behing youth initiative.Where were you before??Infact we will vote for you.We have no otherwise. You are super rich, and we are very naive!!! But be cautious when dealing with Tony Gackoka, he is a spoilt brat! Declare kama Karua wacha kutuenjoy!!

    Submitted by njeridiva
    Posted July 22, 2009 05:15 PM
    this is too sad for words...kwani kenyan parliamentary seats have become monarchies?no ask yourself, and mp dies or steps down, his wife or son gets the nomination.unqualified members of parliament are replaced by equally unqualified kin.this dude is a businessman,wait and see he'l be running for the othaya seat come next elections.what will this spoilt rich kid do for the needy voters in othaya?

    Submitted by Daniel08
    Posted July 22, 2009 04:10 PM
    If he wants to be involved in helping the youth, which is to the benefit of Kenyans, let him. We waste too much time on nonsense. At the end of it all, if he is elected fair enough. Raila was in Ford Kenya politics when his father was alive and took over the party when is father died, did we complain? At least he has not taken over PNU yet, Kenyatta Jr has gone into politics as well, let Kibaki Jr do what he wants, and anyone can join politics even you and me.

    Submitted by mwaurap
    Posted July 22, 2009 02:49 PM
    Kenya continues to be ruled by the old guard and their children. We need change. Jimmy is trying to enter politics by his bogus initiatives. Kenya needs a complete overhaul of politicians. We have people who have been ministers from the 80's. That's why we going backwards.

  5. Submitted by Isaya Baraza
    Posted July 22, 2009 02:14 PM
    Three cheers for Jimmy. I support any youth initiative wholesale. Youths have been used by older politicians for a long time. It is now our turn as Obama said in Ghana.

    Submitted by Tribeless
    Posted July 22, 2009 01:08 PM
    What I love about this lobby group is their slogan. Put another way. Raundi hizo zingine zilikuwa mchezo.Jimmy is saying his fathers presidency was a joke, which is confirming what we know

    Submitted by Athenaeum
    Posted July 22, 2009 01:07 PM
    Granted, Jimmy has the right, as a citizen to do what he pleases as long as it does not infringe on other people's rights and freedoms. Nonetheless, I do find this Simama Kenya and "raundi hii hakuna mchezo" sneaky and lame. He should tell Kenyan youth what he has been doing, or rather what he has done to warrant their consideration. On the other hand, I hope that the youth in Othaya will not be beholden to stunts and vacuous rhetoric--they must demand, if he seeks their votes, action and evidence of action.

    Submitted by migal
    Posted July 22, 2009 01:06 PM
    Just to divert a bit-enyewe love is truly bind. He is not handsome at all.

    Submitted by gurey01
    Posted July 22, 2009 01:00 PM
    Simama Kenya should be given a chance to operate and help the youth of Kenya. They should not be judged because of personalities. Jimmy Kibaki is a Kenya who has rights as a citizen. If Simama Kenya lands in U.K we will give all our support and make our networking available to them Abdi.

    Submitted by dwanjala
    Posted July 22, 2009 12:17 PM
    Ha ha ha, indeed Muyanga, he is is very handsome. Additionally people like Mr Gachoka keep cropping after being incessantly being tossed out of toip posts for misbehaving. What makes him think he is a knight in shining armor for the youth. Jimmy Should watch the company he keeps or it will come back to bite him later.

    Submitted by peterstags
    Posted July 22, 2009 10:15 AM
    This game has been played before! Masquerade as a youth supporter then come the elections you allege that the youth believe you’re the best candidate to represent them,since you have their best interest at heart!(yeah right). We live in a capitalism nation and am yet to see a person do something for the benefit of others, without wanting something in return. Its just another elite son, just looking for a way into the monarchy we have created of 3 families.

  6. Submitted by mutka2003
    Posted July 22, 2009 09:46 AM
    Who cares what He is upto, is He the only Kenyan with initiatives. Why him? Why Gedion? Let's knock Kenya out of hereditary politics. We have more abled Kenyans too, don't focus on him.

    Submitted by tommmaulana
    Posted July 22, 2009 06:35 AM
    There is nothing wrong with Jimmy Kibaki, the worst that can happen is him being elected as MP for Othaya, of cause he can not became the president,give Jimmy a break

    Submitted by vinttog
    Posted July 22, 2009 06:13 AM
    Where have you been.Dad has hired retired friends. Dont use the youth to protect your wealth because that's your focus. Youth never mattered to you. Now your dad is nearly going you get out of the roost and you want the youth to believe in you. Young MPs will ride with you until 2012 then dump you. I will pray and hope they do. Othaya people too. Are there no educated people in Othaya who can lead. God bless you if your intentions are good. I DOUBT IT.

    Submitted by wilbertkenya
    Posted July 22, 2009 04:06 AM
    So at 46 Jimmy had not put up a house in his rural home. He wants to start testing the rural life at 46? Well, very interesting indeed.

    Submitted by kenmare69
    Posted July 22, 2009 03:36 AM
    Someone should Mr. Gachoka the youth in Kenya don't need bringing together because they haven't fallen asunder. As for Kibaki Jnr, he has every right as a citizen to run for political office if he wants. But a trustworthy fellow for consideration need not be conservative with the truth as Jimmy appears to be. Would it fracture a bone in his body if he declared, as man should, that daddy has inspired him and that he's been thinking of..? You couldn't even fool a nursery kid with all these denials about the intent of Simama Kenya if you tried.