Lee Njiru launches book as he cautions those in power
Lee Njiru yesterday officially launched his memoir, Presidents’ Pressman, in Nakuru City at the Sarova Woodlands Hotel.
Mr Njiru delivered a riveting speech in a ceremony attended by politicians, a sitting judge, journalists and many others, including his former colleagues led by his predecessor Cornelius Nyamboki.
Mr Njiru’s family was represented by his two daughters Ms Grace Wanja, and Dr Irene Waruguru, who gave a powerful tribute to her father. At one point, Dr Waruguru broke down as she narrated the tribulations her father underwent, particularly during his last years of service as President Daniel Moi’s press secretary.
“It is a story of tribulations and frustrations visited upon my father as the person who persecuted him was recruited and trained by my father. God is great dad came out victorious. My father is a fighter and resilient,” said Dr Waruguru.
She paid a glowing tribute to Baringo Senator Gideon Moi for standing with her father as his tormentor tried to force him to resign.
“Senator Gideon, we shall celebrate you always for standing with our father and making sure he worked for Mzee Moi in his last days,” Dr Waruguru said.
In his speech, Mr Njiru said the book demystifies State House and the people who work therein, exposing their humanness—their strengths and frailties.
“This book advises the ordinary citizen not to be deceived by the outward glitter and magnificence of palaces. Behind those façades of glory, there are numerous cases of sordid affairs that are unknown to the outside world,” he said.
“I want this book to caution the perpetrators of evil that one day, they will be forced to account. As public servants, history will interrogate, investigate and reveal our deeds, whether heroic and public-spirited or evil. The choice is ours,” he added.
The now retired Njiru had a warning to African leaders: “If you act like Adolf Hitler, or Jean-Bédel Bokassa, or Nicolae Ceaușescu, or Macías Nguema, do not expect the recorders of history to depict you as a Nelson Mandela or Mother Teresa.”
While touting the book as a truthful account of the goings-on in State House, Mr Njiru urged those who know more about the issues he has addressed in the book and others to come out and add to his revelations.
‘Someone is watching’
The former press secretary cautioned the wielders of power , saying “someone is watching”. He advised those who aspire to work in the offices of the powerful to remember that “it is not all rosy. You will be embroiled in a rat race, jostling for money, power and status”.
Ahead of the August 9 elections, he cautioned politicians against inciting Kenyans.
“I urge politicians to create an atmosphere that will not force Kenyans to flee from their beautiful country. Don’t make elections a matter of life and death. Allow our old men and women to enjoy their sunset years. Give our children and grandchildren an atmosphere to enjoy their youth and develop their God-given talents,” he said.
Prof Egara Kabaji described the book as a “powerful story and a monument for posterity”.