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Lucy to Kalonzo: Keep off my family issues

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Denzel Musumba

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First Lady Lucy Kibaki on Friday asked Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka to keep off her family. Mrs Kibaki was annoyed by claims attributed to Mr Musyoka in US embassy cables released by whistleblower website WikiLeaks. Mr Musyoka is said to have described the President as sickly and given accounts of events at State House that the First Lady deemed were malicious. He becomes the second Vice President in Mr Kibaki’s reign to incur the First Lady’s wrath. The first was former Vice-President Moody Awori in 2004 when she told him off for referring to her as the “second lady”. In a statement to media houses, Mrs Kibaki described the comments attributed to the VP in the leaked diplomatic cables as “barefaced falsehood, innuendos, unkind and against African values”. She accused the VP of allowing his “selfish interests” to drive him to make unsavoury remarks aimed at tainting the integrity of President Kibaki and urged Kenyans to avoid such talk. “I urge Kenyans to engage in constructive dialogue that will take our country to the next level rather than smear other people’s reputation for their selfish interests,” she said. The First Lady questioned the VP’s audacity to discuss her residence and President Kibaki’s family with US ambassadors William Bellamy and Michael Ranneberger in cables that were sent to Washington between March 2006 and November 2007. At the time, Mr Musyoka was a member of ODM Kenya, an opposition party comprising Prime Minister Raila Odinga, deputy PM Musalia Mudavadi and suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto, among others. “In some of these cables, Kalonzo Musyoka is reported to have discussed residential matters of the First Family and made innuendos regarding the composition of the same family,” she observes. She opened the statement by asserting that she resides at State House.

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