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Repentant one day, divisive the next; you can hardly take to the bank anything about the former banker’s behaviour. Pool I Nation Media Group

Erratic, controversial, divisive and downright reckless are just some mild adjectives that have been used to describe Trade Cabinet Secretary (CS) Moses Kuria. 

Critics of the former Gatundu South MP have often described him as having a “loose tongue”.

If he is not making statements alleged to be capable of inciting or fanning hate speech, he is busy thinking of another rash statement to spark controversy.

Talk of a man who cannot save himself from himself. Even his elevation from an MP to a Cabinet Secretary cannot seem to tame his acerbic tongue.

Repentant one day, divisive the next; you can hardly take to the bank anything about the former banker’s behaviour. 

If folklore was to be written about the politician, would legend describe him as one with an uncanny ability to disengage his brain whenever he spoke? 

Last week, Mr Kuria was again at his best element. The 51-year-old said the government had deliberately lifted the ban on importing Genetically Modified (GM) food to increase causes of death in Kenya.

The CS said Kenyans face death courtesy of many problems bedevilling the country. 

“By just being in this country, you are a candidate for death. And because there are so many things competing to kill you, there is nothing wrong with adding GMOs to that list,” said Mr Kuria during a press conference.

Probably the man spends a lot of his free time watching movies and to be specific, A Million Ways to Die.

He has been a frequent visitor to courtrooms and police cells over allegations of making incendiary statements although he always maintains that “nothing in my DNA is synonymous with hate”.  

Chameleon

In 2015, he was accused of fanning ethnic hatred by saying that a terror attack at Gikomba Market that killed 15 people was orchestrated by “Odhiambos” and not “Somalis”. 

But like a true chameleon, he would quickly be seen in Gor Mahia jersey attending a football match and even contributing to their cause. 

In that same year, he sparked another controversy when he appeared to incite his constituents to slash politicians opposed to the National Youth Service projects. 

Speaking in his native language, he said: “Those pangas are not just for cutting grass. Someone like that (opposed to NYS programme), you first prune him and finish him.”

But in his true element, he said he had no regrets for uttering the statements. “I only regret that they were misconstrued”.

Early this year, he said he could only join Raila Odinga-led Azimio la Umoja when dead and went on to deride Jubilee Party, saying “itasahaulika kama duka la kamisi (the party will be as irrelevant as a petticoat shop).

Assault charge

Last year, he was charged with assault but was later set free after the case was dropped. He was also part of the infamous “Pangani Six” politicians who were charged with hate speech.

The fifth-born in a family of nine has always been a rabble-rouser for most of the slightly over a decade he has been in the public limelight.

However, he blames his eccentric character on the kind of politics he was exposed to while growing up, saying “any perceived extremism or divisiveness on my side has been shaped by the kind of political culture we have had”. 

With MPs’ threats to impeach him losing steam, but the GM maize controversy still heated, Mr Kuria is likely to remain the man to watch.  By Collins Omulo, NMG

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