Raila said on Wednesday that he felt justified giving Najib Balala the sack because he wasn’t adding value to their party. The PM added that the former Tourism Minister had continuously opposed the Orange Democratic Movement outright and eventually he could no longer stomach Balala’s public attacks on the party.
Everyone has a democratic right to speak their mind, for instance you might want to say how much of a total jerk-off your boss is, but you have to whisper that to yourself in your bedroom and not shout it loud at the company staff meeting or to the press. So I really don’t know why anyone expected Raila to keep Balala in cabinet if Balala’s swansong had become “Raila is a dictator”.
Let’s face it, cabinet appointments are political appointments and those are based on loyalty and regional balancing much more than on merit, otherwise Mwakwere and his confused ilk, whose presence in the cabinet is just as bad as Balala’s absence, should be in retirement homes. Equally Mutula has been demoted not because he was not performing well. Just like Ruto was not retained based on his very good record during his stint at the Ministry of higher education.
Back to Balala; he has repeatedly attacked Raila, and ODM in general, as dictatorial and he knew/should have known what the consequences would be. Mutula, who has been equally firm at Ministry of Justice in contrast to his flipflopping party leader, has also been demoted for almost similar reasons. In fact the very same thing would happen, if not worse, to any PNU minister who, for whatever reason, genuine or not, kept attacking Kibaki publicly and for a sustained period of time.
Furthermore, were these events to have happened during the single-party era, perhaps humiliating lashes by a fireside graced by traditional dancers, or involuntary lodgings at Nyati or Nyayo house would most likely have been part of the menu of retribution.
Even Obama had to sack his first in command in Afghanistan, General McChrystal, for disparaging remarks he made about his administration. That is just how power and authority bestowed on public officers for political reasons works.
We must therefore ensure we fully implement the new constitution such that future ministerial appointments are made from professionals outside the realms of politics as opposed to what happens now. I can only hope Wamalwa hasn’t been put in place to stifle said implementation in addition to his foremost, and futile, role of barking at the moon in badmouthing an ICC process that is out of our hands as a country.