Mchagua jembe si mkulima


You see, I was just going through some news online when I came across another "he/she said this and that" story in the DailyNation & TheStandard about our German Ambassador to Kenya, Mr B.Braun.
The articles (1,2) say that Mr Braun made some statements on President Kibaki’s new cabinet and that "it was obvious the Cabinet was not all inclusive". Making his hard-hitting statement, Mr Braun described the new Cabinet as "very disappointing", adding that the President had "lost a very good opportunity to constitute a working government.” (Daily Nation)
Braun said donors were disappointed with the President for scrapping the office of the Permanent Secretary for Ethics and Governance.
"We don’t want to interfere with internal politics of the country, but the President has to correct the situation," said the envoy.
(The Standard)


Obviously, such remarks generate some mixed feelings.
On one hand, I understand his quest to speak up his mind on the current political situation in Kenya – also since Mr Baun is leaving the country soon. On the other hand,  he’s the ambassador and not a blogger like me.  His words are taken for granted and viewed as the official position Germany has on this matter. And since a direct letter to the Office of the President would be considered somewhat rude, political statements are normally made on private events, in church or during conferences. Statements that are published and carried as the leading story in newspapers the following day. Is this the best way to communicate with a (chaotic) government?

As for democracy, I could even agree with Kibaki’s undemocratic "dream team" if only it will get Kenyans where they really want to go (same with the German Government btw – I never voted for them but think they’ll get us somewhere). So, instead of directly pointing out who’s good and who’s failed to provide good leadership, I would rather measure good governance by the positive change it has brought to a country and put any direct criticsm in this direction. And besides, a proverb sometimes has more elegance of saying something others are not yet prepared to hear. Ama?

Author: jke

Hi, I am an engineer who freelances in water & sanitation-related IT projects at You'll also find me on Twitter @jke and Instagram.

4 thoughts on “Mchagua jembe si mkulima”

  1. I agree with Kikuyumoja at this fragile moment in the government the last thing the country needs is some ambassador to air their views and seem to be siding with a certain movement orange or banana and doing it in a shady way through some events. I know he is talking as Rep for Germany and their stakes in Kenya but meddling in political affairs of a country should be kept neutral by diplomats or use some diplomatic channels to air their disatisfaction. The reason I say that, is because these are not the times to waste money for some snap election when we all know that the poor are continuing to be poor, most people have no access to water , health services etc. I support Kibaki in a way, for he is more concerned about development and trying to alleviate the economy whereas the opposition are busy playing politiks . The two years left until the next election is not too far ,people will elect who is fit to govern Kenya, if at all there is.In the remaining two years we can make or break a country. I say Mr. Braun good riddance and you should have been more outspoken about development issue in your tenure than trying to leave a name as you exit like Mr. Clay!

  2. Oh sorry, this wasn’t meant to be anything against Mr Braun from my side – please don’t get me wrong on this one. I think he’s a good man. Only, my concerns are that the Kenyan press so often misinterpret statements and publish wrong facts so it’s always good to know what you are saying in an official position whenever the press is around.

  3. Juergen: I know you were not being against Mr..Braun. He should have been more careful to utter anything related to the current situation if he does not want to be misquoted.

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