Joseph Nkaissery beat odds to win MP seat twice

Five months before he was appointed to the Cabinet, a source in government told me that Kajiado Central MP Joseph Nkaissery had a bright future.

Nkaissery was in ODM and I found it odd that he would be made minister.

Al-Shabaab terrorists were launching attacks and pressure was mounting on President Kenyatta to overhaul the security docket.

As a parliamentary reporter with The People Daily, it was easy for me to bump into the MP.

I did a few days after the chat with my source.

I told him that there were rumours he was headed to the cabinet.

General, as he was known by lawmakers and reporters, said I was dreaming.

A few days later, he beckoned me to join him for lunch.

Two months after that, and as Al-Shabaab were wreaking havoc, the source again told me to keep an eye on Nkaissery.

I met him in Parliament: “General, why don’t you just admit you are headed to the Cabinet?”

“Young man, where do you get these rumours from? I’m comfortable as an MP and I have not asked anyone for a job,” he said.

The next day, he invited me for lunch. I noticed that despite Parliament canteen having a rich menu, Nkaissery only ate vegetables and took water.

He ignored my question on joining government but was enthusiastic to narrate his political relations with the President.

Nkaissery told me that when he left the military just before the 2002 elections, he informed President Moi of his intention to join politics.

He said a few days later, Mr Kenyatta looked for him and asked him to stand on a Kanu ticket.

Nkaissery braved the Narc wave to win the Kajiado Central seat on a Kanu ticket, the only one in the region.

“Uhuru and I were in Kanu. We were firm in Kanu until ODM emerged,” he said.

Nkaissery added that before the 2007 election, he told Mr Kenyatta that the ODM wave was strong and being in Kanu would be ill-advised.

Just like he had done in 2002, running on a Kanu ticket when the region was Narc, Nkaissery remained with ODM in 2013 and won.

This time all his colleagues from Narok and Kajiado counties were elected on Mr Kenyatta’s TNA or URP of Mr William Ruto.

Despite him and I talking about all manner of things, he took control of the conversation and my inquiries on his military past were met with silence.

Nkaissery was fond of his jog. He ran five kilometres daily.

On the day he was appointed CS, I was in Parliament and as I congratulated him, he called me a prophet.

It is hard to say General was a source. He however was receptive to what one had to say.

One thing I also noticed about Nkaissery is that he never took more than three beers.

Fare thee well, General.

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Nkaissery cared for needy, loved his beer

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