Why do women and the society dislike the loaded who are mean, yet it’s their money?
By GW Ngari
Some Kenyan men could do very well as faces of the online Stingy Men Association of Kenya. Like the late President Mwai Kibaki who died aged 90. He was a well-documented tightwads whose stinginess bordered on the eccentric. Take the day he attended the funeral service of nationalist politician Jeremiah Nyagah in 2008. When time came for sadaka, Kibaki looked the other way when the offertory basket was being passed around.
Journalist Kamau Ngotho, who was in attendance, recalled that “the then Head of the Public Service Francis Muthaura quickly gave some money to the President’s aide-de-camp Lt-Col Josiah Mrashui, who put it in the basket as Kibaki watched with indifference.”
Time came for sadaka during the funeral service and Kibaki looked the other way when offertory basket reached him
What’s wrong with being mean when it’s your money? Why do women and the society at large look unkindly at the loaded who are not generous, yet it’s their money?
Well, in Kibaki’s case, it went to ridiculous levels. Retired cop Essau Kioni, former security consultant in Kibaki’s State House once said he never saw Kibaki dish out money to anyone in all the years he knew him. He doubted he ever carried a wallet.
When he became President in 2003, the first thing Kibaki did was ban harambees besides discouraging political go-betweens from trooping to State House for financial handouts as was the case with his predecessor, the generous Daniel arap Moi.
He doubted President Kibaki ever carried a wallet in his life
Men who are mean are sometimes generous when cutting drinks with the boys, but few of Kibaki’s buddies recall him throwing a round.
Former Nyandarua deputy governor, Waithaka Mwangi, recalls how Kibaki often “only ordered for his drinks forgetting the persons sitting next to him.”
Former Nyahururu deputy mayor John Muritu also recalled drinking with Kibaki at Thomson Falls Lodge owned by the late Senator GG Kariuki’s family. “He only ordered for his drinks and rarely threw parties for his friends or his political supporters although he had a lot of money. We ended up paying for his drinks.”
Few of Kibaki’s buddies recall him ever throwing a round while cutting drinks
Charles Mbindyo, former Finance PS was once Kibaki’s student when he taught economics at Makerere University, Uganda. He recalls the future president telling his students to “never give cash to anybody for no work done because that is to spread poverty and encourage a beggar mentality. “
Instead, Kibaki encouraged his students to “enable people to earn money for themselves, which creates wealth.”
His caddy at Muthaiga, Joshua Kimemia, recalled that “he used to tip me Sh1000 instead of the normal Sh200
Stinginess can have nasty showdowns, though. Former Nyeri Town MP and ‘PhD drop out’, Wanyiri Kihoro and his wife Wanjiru Kihoro crowd funded Sh16 million for Kibaki’s presidential campaign in 2002. Weeks after Kibaki won, a plane Wanjiru had boarded from the Busia airstrip crashed condemning her to a coma for four years. Kibaki was said never to have visited Wanjiru. When she died, Wanyiri Kihoro asked Kibaki to give her funeral a miss!
But mean Kibaki sometimes shocked those who had lost hope in him. Former councilor Nelson Rintari of Majengo ward, Embu County recalled Kibaki shocking patrons at the Muthaiga Golf Club when he forked out Sh25,000 for their drinks and snacks in 2013.
Few can remember Raila Odinga attending any funeral, medical, educational and church harambees
Kibaki caddy at Muthaiga, Joshua Kimemia, also recalled that “he used to tip me Sh1000 instead of the normal Sh200 from other golfers” and Kibaki’s personal assistant and biographer, Ngari Gituku once explained that “Kibaki was generous just that he hates it when it’s made public. He sponsors many students but behind the scenes.”
Why would one need more than one pair of shoes when they have only one pair of legs?