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Wangari Maathai’s Death, Fake Tears and Hear No Evil, See No Evil Attitude


2004 Nobel Peace Lauret, Pro. Wangari Muta Maathai has DIED. YES! Sad that the reknowned environmentalist succumbed to Ovarian Cancer at a Nairobi Hospital The death was first broken on social media by Tim Njiru. Then praises started pouring in and everybody is shedding tears. Some fake some real. You know the sheep mentality. Everyone wants to be with the crowd. I bet that 80% of those shedding tears on Waangari Maathai’s death does not know much about the enviromentalist. They have neither read her life story nor even her books of life. They cant recall 5 instances where Wangari Maathai stood against the establishment.

I commented that Wangari Maathai fought for the environment during the Moi era but she was loudly silent on many occasion on both the Kenyatta and Kibaki era. People started attacking me how I am insensitive and so on by I stood and will stand by what I said. I don’t think that the good Professor would want us to be sycophants because she was not one. She would want us to be fair and we must be fair even to her history. We should not create some imaginary perfection.

Prof. Wangari was married to Mwangi Mathai who was one time MP of Lang’ata. She was even one time director of Kenya Redcross Society and sat on many environment related boards for both international and national bodies. She also was an assistant minister in the NARC government from 2003 to November 2005 when she resigned after Kibaki sacked his former NARC allies. Prof. Wangari Maathai through the Mazingira Party campaigned for Kibaki’s seccond term despite “disagreeing” with him previously.

Worth noting is that Wangari Maathai could not make an impact as an assistant Minister of Environment and Natural Resources nor as Kenya Redcross Society Director. She was vocal when Moi abused the rights of Kenyans and the environment of this country but was also loudly quiet when Kibaki and Kenyatta did the same. She ganged up with other like minded freedom fighters to fight the Nyayo misdeeds but could not raise a finger when Kibaki and Kenyatta butchered Kenyans.

Wangari Maathai fought to unite the FORD-Kenya, FORD-Asili, DP and other parties to out KANU from power in 1992. She was loudly silent when Kibaki unleashed Mungikis and the police on innocent Kenyans. She never made any categorical statement to condemn the butchering of Kenyans by Kibaki branding them Mungiki nor did she make any strong statement willingly denouncing the Anglo-Leasing Scandals which dominated Kibaki’s first term in office.

Wangari Maathai was once quoted by the Standard as having said that HIV/AIDS was “deliberately created by Western scientists to decimate the African population.” This was immediately after being announced the winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. She denied having made that statement but the Standard stood by what it reported. She chickened out. You remember that Prof. Wangari Maathai is a Professor in Veterinary Medicine.

So I am not going to blindly mourn Prof. Wangari Maathai. I am going to mourn this great woman but I must point out her weaknesses so that the living would know that we are watching their failings and wont just blindly mourn them.

I will always speak of the good and evil. I expect the same to be said of me.

https://twitter.com/#!/RobertAlai

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Written by Robert

Robert Alai is a respected Kenyan blogger, technical evangelist, and social justice activist. Robert is known for his hard-hitting articles and opinions disseminated through his Twitter handle or Facebook page. he is the founder of KahawaTungu.

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  1. Robert, your timing for this article is probably going to grate many, but yes….it is important to highlight the good and bad. Death makes us forget or at least remember selectively and perhaps we shouldn’t.

    She was indeed a great human being, with short comings like the rest of us…. Let us learn from her mistakes and celebrate her successes!

  2. Jeloudy.. It seems you have your own issues you need to work on it. When someone is passing at least give a respect… Fake or nor fake people will mourn her and we will remember her for the good and you keep the rest to yourself

  3. While you have a right to point out her mistakes, at least you should have the grace to also mention what she did right. I am not sure about her silence on Kenyatta but with regard to Kibaki, you should mention that she was the ONLY prominent Kikuyu who had the courage to rebuke Kibaki following the last elections fiasco and indeed earlier for breaking the infamous MOU in 2003. Slightly different from the picture you want to portray.

  4. Lame. You lead people on “…when Kibaki sent…”… Leave YOUR views on PostElectionViolence in a PEV article. Stop staining someone’s name cuz they’re dead. Yes. Only cuz she’s dead. Why did you wait to write about her supposed “wishywashyness” before? Meh. Yuck.

  5. She was a great woman and please respect her and leave tarnishing her name. Let the ones mourning her mourn her. She has gone through a lot in life and done a lot of good for herself and for others. If your mum passed on we all know she has weaknesses and strong points but good manners and respect to say the least will not allow you to have anyone tarnish her name. Love rules so please let her be. Be silent if you have no positive comment.

  6. Pole to her family. As to tree planting I am yet to see a living tree planted by the Nobel Laureate:- her Prize was for Peace not Environment. The Strip Tease against Ex Prezzie Moi was a DISGUSTING piece of publicity bordering on HARLOTRY and should never be repeated by anyone who is HALF-DECENT. There are FAR MORE CIVILIZED ways to protest against DICTATORS.
    A Green-Belt is a byword borrowed from America:-it actually refers to a Belt of Trees Surrounding a Town or City. It is non-existent in Kenya. Or maybe I am blind and CANNOT SEE THE FOREST FOR THE TREES! All the negatives notwithstanding Maathai was a great personality and will be greatly missed by all of us.

    Herbert Von Karajan

  7. Unfortunately i do have to agree on most of what you have written, i tend to think you have leaned too much on what she didn’t do and little of her achievements. We were just having the same discussion and someone commented “There are idealists and those who let live. The celebrated icons make it possible for society to let the individual be. Those who set the pace for society make it possible for an individual to concentrate on being an individual. Not everybody can be, or should be, selfless.” Then again She’s just human and personally i would hate to judge but deep inside what have you done that has really changed the world?

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