The man who is tasked with leading the campaign for US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump worked for the Kanu regime, at a time when it oppressed Kenyans, it has emerged.
Mr Trump tapped Paul Manafort, 67, as his Republican Convention strategist but recently elevated him to campaign chairman following the exit of Corey Lewandowski.
Manafort’s firm represented the Kenyan government from 1990 to 1993 at the height of clamour for multiparty democracy, something then regime had resisted.
This gave birth to the famous Saba Saba Day when protesters clashed with police every July 7, with deadly or bloody outcomes.
This was a period when Kenya relied heavily on foreign aid; the US suspended its aid in 1990 to due to the Kanu government’s crackdown on dissent.
The aid was restored in 1991 partly thanks to Manafort’s efforts and, according to salon.com, a State Department official admitted that “we compromised our human rights policy in Kenya somewhat”.
Retired President arap Moi was Kenya’s President between August 1978 and December 2002. Besides Kenya, Washington Post reports, Manafort’s boasts having represented “Ferdinand Marcos, Mobutu Sese Seko, defending Saudi Arabia’s interests against Israel’s and Pakistan’s against India’s, and making the case for a Nigerian dictator, a Lebanese arms dealer and various and sundry Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs.
He successfully lobbied to arm a Maoist rebel in Angola, needlessly extending fighting that killed thousands”.
As thehill.com reports, Manafort was a “smart pick by Donald Trump for campaign chairman”.
“They both play to win, at all costs. They both encourage a cult of personality and demand absolute loyalty” it says.
He has been caught defending even the indefensible including Mr Trump’s wife Melania Trump’s plagiarism of Michelle Obama’s speech during the just-concluded Republican Convention.