Pauline Musyoka and Ida Odinga; Spouses or Escorts

Head of Civil Service Muthaura may very well wish to ingratiate himself to his bosses for the sake of securing a safe, and perhaps, lucrative retirement. But for anyone who still doubts, this is confirmation that the man considers himself a part of some untouchable ‘ruler class’ that manages the nation’s resources like personal property. And he thinks that all he has to do to sanitize this theft is mask it behind a thin veneer of ‘government decision’. He therefore states that “The government has taken cognizance of the critical role of the spouses of the VP and PM in projecting a positive image of our nation’s family values.”

Who, for purposes of this directive, is the ‘government’? If Muthaura and his co-conspirators want to buy or retain the support of the VP or PM, they should do so from their political ‘war chests’ instead of burdening citizens with additional expenditures that cannot even begin to add value to the nation’s image.

In any case, there is already an entertainment budget and civil service staff to host guests for the VP/PM in their public functions. The VP’s and PM’s official residences are also staffed by the government and the two men earn hefty entertainment allowances. The two could ask for an increment if they feel that the allowances are not enough. Whatever other activities their spouses are engaged in for the “public good” are and should remain voluntary. That is what gives them value. Otherwise they are under no obligation to engage in them and no one will hold it against them or their husbands if they did not.

One hopes that when parliament resumes, the legislators will reverse this repugnant directive. Otherwise where will the madness stop? Will the Minister for Foreign affairs seek ambassadorial recognition and allowances for his spouse who “projects a positive image” when accompanying him abroad? Won’t the Chief Justice demand a Judge’s allowances for his spouse who engages his colleagues in learned banter when they visit? And a Mayoral chain for His Worship’s spouse who cooks for the city fathers occasionally? How about Assistant Commissioner’s rank for the Police Commissioner’s spouse?

Unless they are accomplices in this theft, the two gracious ladies need to move fast to reject Muthaura’s duplicitous offer that will most certainly dent their reputation amongst right thinking citizens.

Projecting positive family values are the responsibility of every family and no one can pretend to be the bench mark or the national representative. Certainly, family values cannot be paid for, so that any family that allows itself to be valued at about Ksh 400,000 is decidedly very cheap and not worth emulating.

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