Patrick Mwangi @PeopleDailyKe
At a young age of 22, Major (rtd) Marsden Madoka, was interviewed by Mzee Jomo Kenyatta for the job of Aide de Camp (ADC) and shortly thereafter appointed to the position, defeating 10 other candidates.
Major Madoka, now in semi-retirement after a long and illustrious career in public life, worked with Mzee for one year before he left to progress his career in the Army. He spoke to People Daily about the Jomo Kenyatta he served, a man thoroughly committed to his country and family.
Madoka recalls that Mzee lacked interest in anything else other than running the Government. He had great love for his family. It is still evident to date judging by how close the family still is, a tribute to both Mzee and First Lady Mama Ngina.
Madoka remembers a “very firm” Mzee who never wavered once he took a decision. “Jomo had a very good relationship with all his ministers,” recalls Madoka.
But attorney-general Charles Njonjo, Defence minister Njoroge Mungai and his Internal Security counterpart Mbiyu Koinange were especially close to him.
“But I think he really admired Tom Mboya, the then minister for Economic Planning and Development,” says Madoka who recalls Mboya as a very organised and punctual person who reported at State House, did his business and left. When the President invited him for lunch, Mboya would politely decline unlike others who would hang around for hours on end.
The President did not shy away from speaking his mind. He told off some of his ministers who had drinking problems.
Madoka says Kenya has made great strides, although two things really dishearten him. One is when he hears people say nothing has been done. “Obviously, we would want to do a lot more but people have to appreciate the challenges of raising funds for development and that progress is incremental.”
Madoka cannot stand corruption, which is the second vice he dislikes. “The difference between leaders of yesteryear and those of today is that politicians of the past were committed. Today, we have leaders who are just interested in enriching themselves.” Madoka has watched President Uhuru Kenyatta and has seen similar traits in father and son.
“What I’ve learnt about President Uhuru, and it is coming out now, is that he is resolute and keen in helping this country grow just like his father did. He is forthright and loves this country. You can see he is determined to leave a legacy that benefits all Kenyans.”