President Uhuru Kenyatta has revealed that the late Joseph Nkaissery would have probably ended up being the Chief of Defense Forces had he [Uhuru] succeeded in his first pursuit at the Presidency in the 2002 general election.
Speaking during a requiem service at the Nairobi Baptist Church on Thursday, the head of state said that he met the late Cabinet Secretary when he was a very young man, as Nkaissery was a friend to his cousin Captain Kung’u Muigai.
Uhuru revealed that he and Nkaissery would reunite in 2002, when retired President Daniel Arap Moi re-introduced them to each other.
“He was very keen that I should get to know a few individuals who he thought it was important that I get to know well, because they are people that he said I should work with,” said President Kenyatta.
Uhuru said that he was surprised after learning that the Major-General was quitting the army to join politics.
“I was keener at that stage and said: ‘Why are you quitting? Si tuliongea na Mzee Moi wewe utakuwa CDF (Chief of Defense Forces) wangu. Sasa wewe unaondoka (Didn’t we talk with Mzee Moi and agree that you would be my CDF – Chief of Defence Forces).’ He said, ‘I want to join politics. I think I can play a greater role in politics,’” said President Kenyatta.
“When we formed government, the one person I felt we really truly missed was Gen Nkaissery,” said President Kenyatta.
Nkaissery would later come to President Kenyatta’s rescue in December 2014 as problems arising from terrorism piled on. Nkaissery had been re-elected for the second term as Kajiado Central MP on an ODM ticket. He accepted the call by Uhuru to replace under-performing Joseph Ole Lenku.
“I was forced to go back and say: ‘you know, we discussed way back how we would do these things’, and I called Gen Nkaissery and said: ‘You know, let’s forget these barriers. Why don’t you just come and we continue what we started?’ General did not hesitate even for five minutes.
His point was: ‘I was waiting for you to call me so that we can get to work.’ We started,” said President Kenyatta.
Nkaissery will be laid to rest at his rural home in Kajiado County on Saturday.