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The Politics of Betrayal: Diary of a Kenyan Legislator Paperback – 21 Feb 2011

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A gripping account of Kenya's political wars 15 Mar. 2012
By John Gibbs - Published on
Format: Paperback
The hopes of ordinary Kenyans have been betrayed by their political leaders, according to Joe Khamisi in this book. Although many of the events since independence are discussed, the book concentrates on the period between 2001 and 2008, and particularly on president Kibaki's first term of government when the author was a member of parliament and an active political campaigner.

Certain names have been omitted from the book for legal reasons, but there are plenty of powerful people who are named and described in a less-than-flattering light. President Moi's rule (1978-2002) is described as one during which extra-judicial arrests, disappearances and killings took place throughout the country, with critics being tortured in torture chambers in the basement of Nyayo House. More than $2 billion of Kenyan funds is alleged to have been stolen by Moi and his associates.

President Kibaki's reign started on a hopeful note, but things quickly went downhill from there, according to the author. The loose coalition of parties that had formed a coalition to oust the previous ruling party quickly fell to bickering. The anti-corruption platform on which the government had been elected was abandoned, and the culture of impunity for the wealthy and powerful continued unabated.

As the 2007 elections approached, the author was a power broker in the opposition ODM party. Disagreements between Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka led to a split in the party, and the author describes how he supported Kalonzo and brokered a secret agreement between Kalonzo and Kibaki that would result in Kalonzo becoming vice-president when Kibaki was re-elected. However, the author now regrets supporting Kalonzo, who is broadly criticised.

The author is a journalist by profession, and he writes in an engrossing manner. It is hard for an outsider to judge the reliability of what the author asserts, but on the whole the book provides very interesting background material for understanding the Kenyan political situation over the past decade and the very difficult nature of Kenyan politics given the high levels of ambition but low levels of principles embraced by those seeking power.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
great 28 May 2011
By mulofa - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book not only describes the politics in Kenya but it is also a great piece of Kenyan history. It is also easy reading material.
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