Peter Kenneth disappoints Rotaractors


So today I was supposed to finally be in the same room with my preferred presidential candidate. But it didn’t happen. Peter Kenneth was a no show. And this we were learning at around 7:45 pm after waiting for about an hour and a half. Enough guys in that room were not amused to say the least.

Let me start at the beginning. Rotaract Club of Nairobi Central of which I am an alumni had invited Peter Kenneth to speak at their club meeting happening today. Rotaract is a junior club of Rotary for those who don’t know what Rotaract is. Only that Rotaract is for youth aged between 18 and 30 and Rotary is for the ages 18 to infinity. Anyway Rotaract is Rotary in action. Its mandate is to develop young leaders for the community. It advocates for professional development of the members, service to the community, fundraising to raise money to run community projects, international service which means it liases with other Rotaract clubs and like minded community service clubs both locally and internationally, and club service which is networking and team building so as to form a core tight knit group that plays and serves together.

My former club, Rotaract Club of Nairobi Central, (who by the way I credit with a lot of my leadership and professional development) had invited Peter Kenneth. He was to speak on his personal journey. It was supposed to give us insights on his personal journey from humble beginnings to how he became an MP and all the career changes in between. So guys were very excited. Many people are curious about Peter Kenneth. They wanted to know what he intends for the youth and why we should vote for him. I had also wanted to get quotes from his talk that I was going to do about why I am going to vote for Peter Kenneth. Now that is on hold for now. As they say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

This event had been hyped. Invitations were even issued to other Rotaract clubs and Rotary Clubs. A little background on rotaractors. Most rotaractors are working, they have either gone to college or university, or are currently in university. They are professionals in different fields. With Rotaract there is a lot of expose at both the local and international stage. Also with Rotarians being some of the leading industrialists, lawyers, bankers, diplomats etc Rotaractors have gotten exposure to dealing with powerful people. So no one was coming to ask Peter Kenneth for handouts or for jobs. Guys wanted to come, listen to the words of a man they admire and then ask questions. The best kind of audience; young, educated, and well informed people.

We understand Peter Kenneth is a very busy man. He was actually signing an agreement with Tuju today which I for one applauded. If he had made one with Mudavadi I and many others I know would have not voted for him. We don’t want recycled leaders with scandals that never end. Anyway I digress from the issue.

So it would have been understandable if Peter Kenneth had told Rotaract early that he wouldn’t be able to make it. He didn’t. Then to make things worse somebody spotted him on the 3rd or was it 4th floor of the Laico Regency which is the hotel we were at, only on the first floor. This was around 6 PM.  Apparently he called and said then that he would come at 7:00 pm and we accepted to wait. Then he didn’t show up at all. So now imagine how guys are feeling. He is in the same building and he can’t be bothered to even come down and say hi. Just that. We didn’t want anything from him. He offered apparently to send a representative but the president of the club said no. We had gone there to meet Peter Kenneth not a representative. It’s like sending a stunt (dancing) double of Michael Jackson (RIP) to dance like MJ. It’s not the same. The magic, the moments that you are looking for are not there. People left work early or school where they should have been reading for exams to come see you and you bounce them. As somebody said we could have been in a bar or at home by now watching TV.

Anyway Peter Kenneth hope you read this and know that there are very many young people who were not happy with you today. Those rotaractors, Rotarians, guests, and alumni are leaders, opinion leaders in their spheres of influence. They are also young. The people you are targeting to take you to the presidency. When you show them that you do not value their time it sends them a message which they then take to their spheres of influence. So those votes of the undecided you could have picked up today you have lost. And for those of us who are young and support you it made us question your commitment to the youth. As I said we know you are busy but we are busy too. So if you want us to respect you, your time, and your message, respect ours too.

Many of us are not looking to meet you to know what’s in it for us. If we wanted that, we would vote along tribal lines. You are the first politician to be invited for such a session and it showed the esteem to which you were held as an example for the youth. As they say split milk cannot be returned to the gourd so that is gone. But please in the future please if you make a date with the youth keep it.

PS. I do have to say that Peter Kenneth did reply to a tweet I sent him about how disappointed I was.

Rayhab Gachango ‏@potentash
Very disappointed @peter_kenneth cancelled without notice speaking to rotaractors.Missed out speaking to opinion leaders among the youth

Munuhe Josef ‏@jmunuhe
@potentash I was equally disappointed by @peter_kenneth for not coming through. Sadly to hear he shied away. What happened to #courage?

Waithera Kibinda ‏@YthesYaar @potentash that is sad. Guess he was busy making deals. But let grace abide i am sure he will make up for it cc @peter_kenneth

Rayhab Gachango ‏@potentash
By the way your sis was there. @ythesyaar Btw there were around 200 youth all leaders now not in the making @peter_kenneth

Peter Kenneth ‏@Peter_Kenneth
@YthesYaar @potentash Sorry guys, I will make up

Charles Mwakio ‏@mwakiocharles
@potentash @peter_kenneth @ythesyaar #PK leo hakuwesmake for the function ya #Rotaract

Waithera Kibinda ‏@YthesYaar
*ladies, told u he would make it up* RT @Peter_Kenneth @potentash Sorry guys, I will make up cc @nakshim

I don’t know how P. K. will make it up because I doubt guys will agree to come again to meet him. Peter Kenneth wish you the best with that.

Finished my ramblings. Annoyance imeisha kiasi. As you were.

To find out more about Rotaract and Rotaract Club of Nairobi Central go here.

Correction on 7th December 2012.

PS. I stated earlier in this post that somebody said they may have spotted him at Laico on the 3rd Floor. Peter Kenneth has made the clarification that he wasn’t actually at the Laico he was at his office in Upper Hill at the time.

Facebook Comments


    • Oh really, will you?
      As Rayhab said:
      “I don’t know how P. K. will make it up because I doubt guys will agree to come again to meet him.”

    • Peter Kenneth the floor is open for you. I am in your corner but again in the rotaractors corner as well. Moral dilemna. Anyway I know and believe that your word is good so I know you will make it up to them.

    • Dear Friends,

      My sincere gratitude for your making time to join us at the 4th December 2012 meeting. Kindly accept my apologies for the disappointment. It is highly regrettable that our guest could not make it. The decision taken was a hard one and we thank his team for thinking faster than us and taking the bold step which has indeed worked to our own gain and prevented any unforeseeable regrettable predicament we would have found ourselves in given the prevailing circumstances. Kindly note we were in constant communication with our guest to the very last moment when we realized it was impractical for us to insist on having him come in.

      I apologize for any miscommunication. From my side, I admit it was the wrong choice of date, venue and time given the events of the day, something I had not fo
      reseen while planning for the meeting.

      Thank you for bearing with us, for your understanding and support. No promises. We shall continue doing our best and I hope even though you were disappointed, you were not at all discouraged and that you shall give us another opportunity in future whenever we request your indulgence.

      I am encouraged by your sobriety. May it reign!

      Yours in Rotary Service,

  1. Hi rotaractians pls give peter a break, if it was any other day it would have been disappointing but it was Yesterday 4 Dec 2012 what he was doing was for the greater good.some of us could not even focus on our activities till he signed with Tuju.Rayhab u should be his ambassador there and organize another meeting for him.

  2. Steve Ondari, I see that my shoes have become dirty (it’s a rainy morning). Crawl over and lick them, boy! You are apparently good at that. And me having shining shoes, thanks to your tongue, will be “for the greater good”, no doubt.

    I am angry not because of any previous political opinion that I might hold about Peter Kenneth (I did not have any). I am enraged because Rayhab is a friend. And because I know and esteem many rotaractors, whom PK treated so shamefully.

    AND because Peter Kenneth’s misbehaviour was as insupportable, as his own utterly childish reaction on his tweets (or rather: his ostentatiously dismissive, shoulder-shrugging NON-reaction) now is.

    We here see a man who does not even display the social skills of a normally-developed 10 year old that would be called upon a transgression (explanation, proper apology and proper promise of a befiitting amendment) – and such a man you want to elect a president? Good grief ! You might just get what you deserve then.

  3. All,

    First let me start by apologizing on behalf of Peter Kenneth for this unfortunate eventuality. But the facts as stated are not correct.

    At 6.45 PK was ready to leave his office in Upperhill to head to Laico Regency when we were made aware through a live TV stream that Uhuru and Ruto were meeting with Mudavadi to sign a deal.

    We communicated with the organisers that he couldn’t attend because the meeting was happening there and with the rumours of yesterday and media covering that event we couldn’t risk it, it would have been damaging to us, a situation that we had avoided all day. PKs PA even offered to send me as abrepresentative and they refused. PK spoke to them when the issue first came up on twitter and offered his apology and a promise to make up for it.

    We regret that this situation but believe that the organisers should have explained to the gathering PKs predicament.

    I urge once again that we understand that the no show was a necessary evil, and if we care about the brand of our condidate, as some here have alluded to, understand that this was the right decision.

    I pray that I have given a full picture of the true position.

    • Thank you Ronnie,

      As communicated to both Peter and Stanley, as the organizers we completely understood. I apologize that we may have not have done a very good job with delivering the news. We tried our best and I made it clear to the attendees that a representative had been offered and I didn’t think it was necessary as I believed we could handle the situation ourselves. It took me and my team long to understand what was happening and it was once we got out of the hotel that I understood and felt the intensity of the tension.

      I have communicated my own apology to the attendees and to you and I hope we have not caused too much damage.

      My apologies Rayhab for not communicating clearly. As I left the meeting the last person, it was my hope that all attendees would assess the situation outside and realize it was not good for Rotaract at all. I actually breathed easy because PK’s team had saved us from what would have been otherwise the biggest threat to our very existence as a club. Our clubs are not supposed to be involved in any kind of political activity and even though we were not intending to, that would have been the situation had we insisted!

      I hope you understand!

  4. Thank you Ronnie for that clarification. As I had said earlier you have a right of reply so if you would want to do a statement that I can put up as a post that would work better. I do appreciate the fact that Peter Kenneth has made an effort to engage with me and others on this issue both on FB, Twitter, this post and through telephone conversations. I do understand the political undercurrents of yesterday at the Laico but many who were there may or may not. This is why I offered P. K. The right of reply which I normally wouldnt. The idea was not to embarass P.K. But to tell what happened from the perspective of where I was that. I was, am and will continue to support Peter Kenneth and his quest for presidency. But at the same time I know how disappointed Rotaractors were. That is why I wrote the story. So ball is in your court. Peter Kenneth said he would make up for it and I know he will.

  5. The Lord misbehaves, and a lackey adds insult to injury. Wow, that is really rich.

    I shall post a separate follow-up and take Osumba apart, as it behooves. This is a befitting lesson in how to use, and how to NOT use social media. Let us hope that Peter Kenneth will duly learn from this lesson, as he has to; because it is still going on.

  6. Dear Rayhab,

    My apologies for the miscommunication.

    As a fellow writer, my hope is that we too will change the way we write because our pens are weapons. Very powerful in fact. I will appreciate if our writing can overcome our emotions to ensure that we give reason a chance and first do thorough research and source for facts before we come to conclusions and publish items which may damage other people’s reputations.

    Let us be gentle with each other and not judge too harshly. We too often disappoint others and if we were to be judged, would it be fair for it to be before confirmation of facts? Many disappointed folks did call PK’s team and explanations were offered before any reactions were made public.

    Courage is not of muscles. It is taking such a hard decision by PK’s team to disappoint us with the knowledge that it would have very negative reactions but had guaranteed both us and him safety. Of what use would have it been if they were brave for just a moment and caused a commotion with the massive crowd that was hoovering around the hotel? That would have been perhaps the end of RCNC’s 35 year history!

    My apologies for the role I played in miscommunication. Let us remain sober!

  7. Before I answer to Ronnie Osumba, Irinah’s post calls for a more urgent intervention. Upon her equally contrite and equally out-of-place apologies to Him Who Shall Not Be Named, I have quickly perused the Standard Rotaract Constitution and the Standard Rotaract Club by-Laws.

    I am only a jurist of course, so my professionalized eye may mislead me, and I might be half blind too, but I fail to find any explicit demand or requirement of being _unpolitical_; the looming spectre of which makes Irinah shiver and quiver so badly now that she loudly fears for the existence of the club.

    On the very contrary, the explicit raison d’être of Rotaract, which called this institution into life back then in 1968 (yeah right), was the desire of Rotarians to become more political via external action, and thus to appeal to young people, instead of losing them to the (at that time) extra-parliamentary and anti-bourgeois protest movements.

    Now I could understand a certain remorse on part of the organizers if a lack of response by Rotaractors had shown that they are not interested in a “meet and greet” with political candidates, but again on the CONTRARY, many members actually seem to have approved of this invitation, otherwise they would not have made time (in vain) and would not have come to see Kenneth, and would not have been disappointed about his behaviour and his failure to show up.

    Somebody seems to be misrepresenting something?

  8. It was unfortunate he didn’t show up. And most unfortunate is that he probably will not be able to “make it up” apart from apologising.

  9. I have added a Correction today

    PS. I stated earlier in this post that somebody said they may have spotted him at Laico on the 3rd Floor. Peter Kenneth has made the clarification that he wasn’t actually at the Laico he was at his office in Upper Hill at the time.

  10. Okay. I waited for a bit before continuing. But sleeping a day or two over such a display of bloated buffoonish incompetence by the fawning busybodyish lackeys pretending to be PAs and advisors, makes me only angrier. And Carole Kimutai, I do not want to read a single further word of misplaced defence of the indefensible from you; rather learn from your son, as Peter Kenneth should.

    The fracas is not only due to the candidate (who would be well advised to re-attend kindergarten together with a *certain* 7-years-old bke rider, and then to acquire some minimal planning and punctuality skills from the Rwandan president – his attitude and lack of care for his voters would suck even for a sub-chief deep in Upper Shagz).

    The fall-out is even more due to his “handlers” who first misassessed the choices, then misadvised about the risks, and then misbehaved and made their BOSS look like a totally rude mshenzi, when they mishandled the ensuing outrage on his behalf and under his name.

    Ronnie Osumba, that means *YOU*. Let me quote:
    “They need to do damage control, but putting pressure on the messenger is always a bad move.
    From my experience as a journalist, it’s quite common for corporations to have their legal depts bully smaller news outlets or blogs into obedience (bark at the big dogs for a change, you cowards). On a side note, a true PR professional would never allow something like this to happen. This will fire back at you — it always does.”

    I am really asounded, every time anew, what kind of insipid niggaz Starehe has been turning out in the last two decades. Definitely the worst of the crop, if we compare. I have observed that time and again, it really seems a collective school vice. Alliance is just plain unfounded arrogance, but the Starehe earmark is cultivated vice and insolence. Osumba is truly a prime example for that ingrained attitude. My, my, my. 🙁

  11. Peter Kenneth will be meeting Roratactors next week. His team and The RCNC President are working on the details which are yet to be confirmed. PK has made good on his word so lets be nice. Will post details once logistics have been confirmed.

  12. It would be good to see Nali’s apprehension (see above) refuted, as Potentash now hopes, by informing us on some ongoing negotiations.

    It would also be good for the acting club president (Irinah) who, as one could hear, has gotten heat not only from the justifiably disappointed Rotaractors, who felt treated as peons by PK’s team, but also and more from the politicians’ handlers, courtiers and from one or the other Rotarian. Actually however, Rotary needs Rotaract more than the other way, so Irinah should not be unduly concerned. Menacing “the future existence of the club”, as some hot-heads seem to have uttered towards her, is surely out of place. As much out of place as any (futile) presence against Rayhab.

    I understand that inviting politicians, notably in pre-election campaign times, has not been a common practice among Rotaractors previously; Irinah’s predecessor in office also posted a hardly-veiled criticism. On the other hand, behind-the-curtains political shmoozing, networking and influencing has always been an important part of Rotarian activity in the past, everywhere in the world. So, the only real difference is that Irinah’s invitation was transparent and public, and apparently found the vivid interest of many young people.

    Lastly, this has little to do with the personality of one single individual candidate. It could have happened in the same or in a similar way with most others too. Well, not with Paul Kagame – but he not a Kenyan.
    What _is_ important here, is the lesson for proper social behaviour and profesionalism, for the way nearly all Kenyan politicians perceive and treat their electorate, and notably for good or – as here – badly inept PR and social media handling after an incident.

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