Saturday, 03 April 2021 – Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party’s former Director of Political Affairs and Strategy, Wafula Buke, caused a stir after he exposed how the late Wangari Maathai reportedly conned him.
Here’s the statement obtained from his Facebook page.
Prof Wangare Maathai conned me.
She died with my debt of apology. Karura forest invasion was a shameless hijack of my project. When KTN aired the revelation of how the forest was being brought down, I came up with an invasion plan. I was by then the Activism and Mobilization Program Officer at Kenya Human Rights Commission.
The idea was simple; Mobilize many people, raid the place, beat up anybody we find there, burn and destroy all constructions and sustain protection of the forest over time. Under my leadership, We chose the date and started mobilizing human rights groups such as RPP and human rights defenders for a week.
The operation was never supposed to be owned by any organization. On the day b4 attacking Karura, I decided it made sense to invite Wangare Maathai. Mugambi Kiai, late Njuguma Mutahi, Odenda Lumumba, Vincent Musebe as driver, and I paid her a visit.
“What do you plan to do about grabbing of Karura forest?” I asked her.
“We are going to court to stop it”
“Knowing Moi’s courts, you will have to go alone.We have already mobilized for the invasion tomorrow. Infact Mugambi Kiai and I are headed to parliament to mobilize MPs”.
She decided to join us and then made a.call to a certain “Macharia” asking for banners written on both Green Belt Movt and KHRC. I told her that we wanted the banners to read “A people’s initiative” rather than be owned by any organization’s. I considered it selfish.
She quickly agreed with us and requested to produce publications for the event as KHRC handled general organization and Mobilization. Mugambi and I stayed in parliament the whole day to secure the participation of MPs.
The following day, as we branched off at Gigiri towards Karura, all banners were reading green belt movement At the diversion, two ladies were handing out to members of the public a write-up signed by Prof Wangare Maathai as the architect.
She made sure our eyes never met during the operation. When I met Mains Kiai the KHRC ED the following day, he lamented after reading the newspapers “Buke, where is KHRC in the exercise as reported by papers” I told him how Prof Wangare had conned us.
She got an award in the US on Karura and then the Nobel Peace Price. Guilty a bit, they approached me to serve as a member of her advisory board to earn 1000$ per month but changed their minds. What is unforgivable is that she does not acknowledge these facts in her book.
HAPPY 81st BIRTHDAY Prof and thanks for sustaining the fight for the environment.
The Kenyan DAILY POST