The reverse driving con


A lot has been said and written about Grace Wakhungu, John Waluke’s co-conspirator in the grand heist, and how she has blotted an otherwise impeccable record of the Awori dynasty.

However, there is this small matter which many seem to have forgotten or are not aware of. Back in the 1980s, there was another Awori, by the name Eric Awori, The young man zoomed into our national psyche claiming that he had won a reverse rally driving competition.

He was feted all round. He then upped the ante, taking the seemingly Herculean task of reverse driving a 24 wheel trailer from Mombasa to Busia on the Ugandan border.

A Ugandan driver later came forward claiming that he was the one – and not Eric – who had done the actual driving. Being forever patriotic we dismissed the Ugandan with costs.

The Ugandan driver’s case was further worsened by the fact that in the same year Yoweri Museveni’s army engaged Kenya across the border shooting. They were repulsed by Kenya Police although know-it-alls later convinced us that all that Kenyans did was to dress up Kenya Army marksmen in police uniform and have them engage their Ugandan peers.

The ‘Ssebos’ ran back to Kampala, tail between the legs. Back to Awori and now he decided to go international. Or so we thought. The man claimed to have won some reverse rally driving competition in far away New Zealand.

Only for the folks at the Nation Sportsdesk to realize that the fax messages they were receiving on the rally updates were coming from an office in Westlands, Nairobi, The New Zealand High Commission in Kenya had no idea about such a rally. The Los Angeles Times carried the story about the big con.

By Tom Osanjo

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