Kenya’s steel billionaire Narendra Raval played a big role in ensuring that Kenya’s third President Mwai Kibaki appointed Kalonzo Musyoka as his vice president after the disputed 2007 polls.
Raval, talking to Citizen TV’s Jeff Koinange and Victori Rubadiri on September 9, 2018, narrated that he had decided on a holiday to his country of birth, India, via Dubai.
En route, he received information that Kenya had fallen into chaos after the disputed 2007 elections, a matter that made him send his family ahead and return to the country.
“Kenya is in my heart. If someone tells me that Kenya will benefit from something that I have, I will do anything for that, because Kenya has shown me the world and given me life. If someone does not appreciate where he earns the bread, then he has serious issues,” he spoke.
“Kibaki was a good friend and a father figure to me and Kalonzo was also a good friend because I was one of the biggest investors in the Ukambani region, where I had employed more than 2,000 individuals,” Narendra narrated.
On his return, he organized a meeting between the two leaders after he had met them separately and convinced them to join him in his house for a discussion over dinner. He had not informed either of them that their political nemesis would be coming to the meeting.
“Kibaki came to my home at eight o’clock in the evening, and so did Kalonzo along with some other person that I have indicated in my book. It was a very heated meeting, but it ended peacefully, and they both left,” he recounted.
Kalonzo was appointed as the vice president on January 9, 2008, barely two weeks after the meeting at Raval’s house. He proceeded to serve in the position until April 9, 2013, after which he supported Odinga’s bid for the presidency.
Raval’s sentiments were echoed by Kalonzo in his 2018 biography Against All Odds, where he confirmed that he had indeed been invited to a dinner meeting at the billionaire’s house.
“I arrived at his house and as we made small talk ahead of the meal, I was surprised to see Kibaki walk into the room in the company of Stanley Murage, his adviser and strategist.
Kalonzo wrote that President Kibaki was a good boss who allowed him the freedom to discharge his duties, delegated a lot and was accessible to discuss government business.
However, he lamented that towards the end of his tenure, Kibaki’s accessibility became a problem since the VP could not meet the president as often as he wanted.