In Summary
  • Mr Musyoka writes in his autobiography that Dr Kosgei, who also served as head of public service, MP and minister, was part of a delegation trying to broker a peace deal between Mobutu and rebels led by Laurent-Desire Kabila.

  • Mr Kabila’s rebel movement, with the backing of Rwanda and Uganda, started their war on Mobutu in 1996 in the east of what was then known as Zaire.

A Kenyan presidential delegation visit to Mobutu Sese Seko’s Gbadolite palace was so shocked by its opulence that then Foreign Affairs PS Sally Kosgei almost choked during a meal.

Mr Musyoka writes in his autobiography that Dr Kosgei, who also served as head of public service, MP and minister, was part of a delegation trying to broker a peace deal between Mobutu and rebels led by Laurent-Desire Kabila.

Mr Kabila’s rebel movement, with the backing of Rwanda and Uganda, started their war on Mobutu in 1996 in the east of what was then known as Zaire.

‘’We were served exotic food in some banana leaves. There was a serving of some extremely tasty fish. I remember my Permanent Secretary, Dr Sally Kosgei, almost choking on some of it,’’ he writes.

“Even Moi concurred that such luxury amidst abject poverty was unacceptable,’’ he writes.

Musyoka does not go into details of the opulence but Gbadolite palace was just one of properties spread around the world and the Democratic Republic of Congo built or bought by $5 billion Mobutu is said to have looted from the mineral-rich state.

It was built at an estimated cost of $400 million by Tunisian-born French architect Olivier Clement Cacoub and Senegal’s Pierre Goudiaby Atépa.

During its heyday, it brimmed with paintings, sculptures, stained glass, ersatz Louis XIV furniture and marble from Italy.

TAITTINGER CHAMPAGNE

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