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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 9 November 2014


Politics of intrigues, armtwisting, blackmail, coercion, mudslinging and intimidation is slowly rearing back its ugly head to Kenya. Some of the top Jubilee operatives have been burning midnight oil scheming on how to clip political wings of politicians believed to likely tilt the political equation come 2017 and beyond.

Also targetted are key regional political players who have refused to dance to political tunes of today’s power wielders and are thus seen as potential stumbling block to their political ambitions. 

Investigations by Weekly Citizen reveal that a number of high ranking politicians are marked men and could find themselves behind bars on  charges and through revival of old cases some as old as 10 years. One such man is the UDF leader Musalia Mudavadi.

Others in the arrest list are Kisii senator Chris Obure, former Finance minister David Mwiraria, former Internal Security minister Chris Murungaru, former PSs Joseph Magari and Dave Mwangi, businessmen Anura Perreira, Deepak Kamani and his brother Rashmi and father Chemanlal Kamani.

According to well-placed sources, a plot to arrest Mudavadi over his alleged involvement in the infamous Anglo Leasing scam where the taxpayer lost billions of shillings has been hatched. This follows a report that the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko has formed a committee to evaluate Anglo Leasing files forwarded to his office by Mumo Matemu’s Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

Those who have been keenly following political events will agree that of late, the relationship between Mudavadi and President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto has not been as shiny as it used to be. It is said a number of Jubilee top brass allied to Ruto’s URP are not comfortable when Mudavadi and Uhuru are in best of terms.

It is against this background that behind-the-scenes plans are underway to ensure Mudavadi is arrested and arraigned in court over the Anglo Leasing scam. The game plan is to keep him busy through endless judicial process to divert his attention from political activities.

Ruto allies believe that come 2022 elections when he is expected to be Jubilee’s presidential candidate, Mudavadi will be his stumbling block and the plan is to have his political future ruined and totally curtailed.

Sources say Ruto has never forgiven Mudavadi whom he accuses of having been used by ODM leader Raila Odinga to check him during their days in ODM where the two served as deputy party leaders. Ruto felt that Raila ranked Mudavadi above him despite the two having the same rank.

Apart from having him arrested, the ongoing power struggle within his UDF party is also part of the scheme to have him rendered partyless and hence politically irrelevant.
Back to the looming arrest of Mudavadi, to further cripple him politically, a recommendation was also made by Matemu to have the Anglo Leasing suspects’ bank accounts frozen and the state to seize money obtained fraudulently.

The EACC has recommended that Mudavadi be charged with conspiracy to defraud, abuse of office, and failure to follow the law.

Mudavadi’s name has been dragged to the case as he was then Transport and Communications minister and allegedly initiated the fraud and that he used his position and influences to get the contract approved by his Finance counterpart, in complete breach of the law, regulations and procedures.

The project that is now being used to drag Mudavadi’s name into the scam was signed on July 11 2002 for broadband network. It was signed by Mudavadi as the minister with Sammy Kyungu and S Bundotich as the permanent secretaries. The supplier in the tender was Space Net Corporation (USA) and funded by First Mercantile Securities Corporation and the contract value was US$11,787,000.

Last month, EACC announced that it had completed investigations and forwarded the files to the DPP, with a recommendation to prosecute 10 individuals.
Another project where Mudavadi’s name has been mentioned was that of Kenya Prisons Security and telecommunications Project 1 which he signed together with William Ole Ntimama, Obudo and L Sirma on October 30 1997. The supplier here was LBA Systems Ltd (UK) and the contract sum was US$24,600,000.

On June 7 2002, Mudavadi together with Obure, Kyungu and Bundotich again signed another contract of National Early Warning and Security System to be supplied by LBA System Ltd (UK) at a contract sum of US$35,000,000.
On July 11 2002, Mudavadi together with Obure, Kyungu and Bundotich again signed another contract of Bandwdith Spectrum and Network operations and Control Project to be supplied by Universal Satspace (USA) at a contract sum of US$281,106,400.

Those in the know say, Mudavadi and nine others whose names were submitted to Tobiko are those initially taken to then AG Amos Wako, by the anti-graft agency, then known as the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission ,  in 2006.

Way back on September 20, 2006, the then minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Martha Karua released what she termed as the Anglo Leasing list of shame. However, sources say then President Mwai Kibaki could not act on the list because it included names of two ministers and close ally in his Narc government.

The former ministers in the Kanu government mentioned were Mudavadi, Chris Okemo, Julius Sunkuli, Obure and Ntimama. Those in the Narc government were Mwiraria and  Murungaru.
The permanent secretaries mentioned in the list included Sylvester Mwaliko, Kyungu, David Mwangi, Joseph Magari, Ali Korane, Margaret Chemengich, Zakayo Cheruiyot, Mwaghazi Mwachofi, Simeon Lesirma, Moses Obudo and Bondotich. Simeon Nyachae together with M Chemengich on October 30 1997 signed a US$36,000,000 with Sound Day Corporation (UK) for the Kenya Police Air wing Support Equipment.

On May 29 2003 Murungaru, Mwiraria, Kyungu and Magari signed a contract for Telecommunications Network for the Administration Police valued at €49,650,000. They again signed another contract on July 15 2003 for supply of Oceanographic Survey vessel valued at €10,399,400 and on December 17, 2003 they again signed a contract for modernisation of police security equipment and accessories valued at €40,000,000. On January 20 2004, they again signed a contract for Flag Staff project of National Social Security Service valued at $41,800,000.

Sunkuli and Okemo also signed another contract for CID Forensic Science Laboratories to be supplied by Anglo Leasing and Finance (UK) valued at $4,560,000.  They again signed another contract on August 16 2001 for Land Rover Export Leasing Purchase with M/S Leyland Export Ltd (UK) valued at US$90,001,152.

Sunkuli also signed a number of contracts together with Obure. One such contract was signed on April 9 2002 for Kenya Police supply of security equipment Addendum 2 valued at US$30,000,000. The supplier in this tender was Sound Day Corporation (UK). Again on June 14 2002, they signed a $31,846,500 contract with Sound Day Corporation (UK) for Kenya Police supply of security equipment Addendum 3.

Sunkuli and Obure further signed contracts on July 12 2002 for Kenya Police Air wing Support project 2 valued at $12,800,000 and on November 9 2002, they signed another contract for Nexus (Defence Command Centre) valued at €36,903,750.

Former Vice President Moody Awori’s name has also been mentioned for having signed a €31,890,000 contract with Anglo Leasing and Finance Ltd (UK) for Immigration Security and Documentation Control System.

Initially, it was believed that the Narc government as well as the coalition government under Kibaki and Raila Odinga did not push for action against those involved in the scam, the Jubilee government now seems to have changed tac and is now willing to hold the ministers in whose watch the Anglo Leasing contracts were signed, accountable and that is where there is fear that Mudavadi could fight the toughest legal battle of his lifetime.

During the run-up to the 2007 elections, then Finance minister Amos Kimunya blamed the Anglo-Leasing scam on the feet of ODM players whom he said were the architects of the fraud.
He revealed that documents in treasury proved that Mudavadi approved the Anglo-Leasing payments and implementation in 1997 when he was Finance minister. He then alleged the second batch of payments was paid by Okemo in 2001 and that in 2002 Obure and Sally Kosgey paid another batch of the monies.

“We have just been playing a gentleman’s game on this issue of Anglo-Leasing, but now we can’t take the accusations any more. Let the truth be told, Anglo-Leasing is not faceless, it has a face and that face was first seen by Musalia Mudavadi in 1997, it was also seen by Chris Okemo and Chris Obure, let them tell us who is Anglo-Leasing,” Kimunya charged in a lengthy press conference.

The challenge then was that Tobiko’s office fell under the AG and when the AG received the files from KACC for action and which were then to be forwarded to Tobiko for possible prosecution, Wako instead returned the files to KACC, citing insufficient evidence to support the case in court.

Then Postmaster General of Postal Corporation of Kenya Francis Chahonyo was accused of being the key facilitator of the fraud because he knew the project was being negotiated by the ministry of Transport and Communications, but did not disclose material information on the terms of contract to the board. The then Finance minister Obure was also accused of being a key facilitator of the fraud and that he also used his position in complete violation of the law to approve the FMSC contract.

Another individual in Aaron Ringera’s letter was Former Transport and Communication permanent secretary Kyungu who has also been regarded as an initiator and allegedly used his position to get the contract approved by his Finance counterpart. Ringera was then the anti-corruption body czar.

That Mudavadi is a marked man is no secret. His once rosy relationship with Uhuru is no more. He has skipped the president’s functions in Western province and of late is a key critic of the Jubilee government.  Asked on a recent television interview how conflict resolution could best be handled in be political parties, Mudavadi said it was vital security of tenure for offices charged with dispute resolution in parties be assured.

At the centre of the UDF dispute at the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal are claims and counterclaims over who the actual officials are given that party national officials have changed over time since the party compliance in March 2012. Abraham Limo who was secretary general at inception before being replaced by Dan Ameyo still claims to be the “registered” SG yet he signed nomination certificates as UDF chairman of the elections board in 2013. Justus Kizito is the new SG.

Analysts wonder how this claim can be entertained at the tribunal while observers ask whether this is poor record keeping at ORPP or typical political shenanigans by the office. But more immediate concern observers read ill-motive in this fatal claim that could jeopardise the validity of UDF nomination certificates when a functionary claim signed as chairman of elections and now changes tune to say he was secretary general. 

As the UDF case has demonstrated, the situation is no better at the tribunal where commissioners serve part time and only earn allowances depending on how many sittings they hold. A case that looked straight forward has turned out to be a merry-go-ground with the tribunal seemingly more interested in sittings through flimsy orders than adjudicating on substantive matters before it. In a curious way, a tribunal bench allegedly without a quorum issued ex-parte orders banning the party from all activities and mysteriously went ahead to write a press statement on matter.

In the replying affidavits against the case, the Mudavadi team has demonstrated that the persons that brought the case posing as UDF members and Nairobi branch officials are neither. On this fault line alone, the case should have been dismissed had its certificate of urgency been respected by the tribunal. Instead, the tribunal has entertained peripheral ex-parte applications by the suspended officials delaying a ruling on the material issue of impersonation by the original applicants.

At a recent hearing, Kizito and deputy chairman Captain Mohammed accused the tribunal of buying time and ruling in favour of their opponents in all matters than arbitrating. “Why are you delaying hearing us on matters you certified urgent against the original case but are issuing orders in favour of dubious applications? Are you interested in resolving this matter or playing politics? We have also noticed that you on this bench coach attorneys and are the ones prosecuting the case,” asserted the duo at the hearing.