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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 2 November 2014


They say that old age does not stop at the door and knock asking to come in. You just find it inside. In fact, you discover after years that you have been living with it. This, you know when you forget where you placed this or that object or when a task that you could earlier do with your eyes closed now requires superhuman effort to accomplish. Others do not even realise they are getting old and it takes onlookers to tell.

When word started leaking out within the Cord family that opposition lynchpin Raila Odinga should not run for presidency but instead should groom one to succeed him to face Uhuru Kenyatta 2017, many said it was just politics but we now reveal that these was not just an idle proposal.

Those who have been observing Raila closely over the years now say that from the look of things, the peerless Tinga like everyone else has been too preoccupied with the treadmill that is life that he never heard the “Hodi” said to him by old age. From the manner he has lately been handling political affairs, allies who interact with Raila on a day-to-day basis say, there is an element of recklessness akin to the impudence associated with the aged when they hit a certain mark in life.

From the Kasarani ODM debacle that forced Raila to flee Kenya for three months to save face to the recent Orange House ejection of ODM CEO Magerer Langat who was pulled by ODM county reps right from Raila’s armpit where he was seeking refuge, even the most ardent supporter of Raila is seeing a weakening of the once supremely deft political moves Raila made when he was at the top of the game.

The problem, Raila people say, has to do with his ebbing mental alertness and general health quality. Had this not been the case, they say, Raila would not have allowed the above goofs and would have found a way to circumnavigate the challenges and left everyone unaware there had been an issue in the first place.

 But most worrying to Raila’s innercircle is that he has, according to them fallen prey to the stratagems of Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula, his co-principals in Cord to have affiliates get a cut from registrar of parties’ fund. To them, the Sh87 million is for ODM and that is why they had to disrupt the parliamentary group meeting to discuss the issue last week at Orange House.

Claims Kalonzo and Wetang’ula are capitalising on Raila memory lapses to benefit is the talk of town. Also being mentioned is how Bishop Margaret Wanjiru fooled Raila to have her son Stephen Kariuki to get direct ODM nomination for Mathare by-election despite opposition from party members who wanted preliminaries to guide the exercise.

After winning the seat, Wanjiru deserted Raila with word she has given instructions to her son MP to work with Jubilee. A combined Luo, Luhya and Kamba vote could have landed a non Kikuyu in the seat since the Kikuyu vote went to TNA candidate.

Those in Cord now openly state that Raila is a pale shadow of his former self compared to the run-up to the last general elections and has not come to terms he is not the president and that William Ruto is the deputy president to Uhuru.

They also say Raila is not the same man who mounted a serious campaign onslaught in the controversial 2007 polls that he lost to then President Mwai Kibaki leading the formation of the coalition government after the events that followed the elections.

Raila in the two controversial presidential campaigns would traverse the country. For now, his handlers say, even attending two rallies a week is not easy. That is why the referendum campaign lost steam and did not reach all corners of the country as it had been planned.

To worsen matters, Raila still refers to Kalonzo makamu wa rais and Wetang’ula waziri while chairing Cord matters. Unlike before when he would call every MP from Luo Nyanza by name, the former PM is unable to and now he is only able to recognise a few due to his poor eyesight. The fear that Raila is losing his marbles seemed to be reinforced when he was shown on TV last week following Gor Mahia fans’ anarchy in Machakos saying: “Soccer is a game played by gentlemen and watched by thugs” which shocked many as it was seen as a condoning of the violence that leaves millions of damage whenever Gor loses

Fearing that Raila is not himself, those who have survived politically by surrounding him are working on various options to remain relevant ahead of 2017 including in his Luo home turf. Not to be left behind are politicians from regions where ODM enjoyed fanatical following in last polls in Coast, Western and parts of North Eastern.

As a result of his current state, where he is forced to sleep early and reduce his intake of hard drinks as per doctor’s advice, Raila appears to be in the grip of the worst and most desperate, outdated, incompetent and unpopular of the Luo Mafia operatives.

Psychiatrists, psychologists and other observers with a medical background and experience of personality changes in older people are quietly stating that Raila, who is 69 years old, nine of which were spent in detention is showing all the signs of early onset dementia or accelerated senility.

A top medic who spoke to Weekly Citizen on condition of total secrecy as he has been close to both Raila and his father, the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga in the past observed that the tell-tale signs are all there for those with trained eyes to see.

“Jakom has not been himself since at least mid-last year in the aftermath of his third loss in the presidential elections. The hyperactive, thrilling, mesmerising and galvanising man of the people is no more. Instead, we see an individual who could pass for the body-double of the real Raila of yesteryears, but does not possess his content. In other words, we are looking at a different Raila,” said the doc.

A well-known radio and TV political analyst who also did not wish to be named said it appears the former prime minister is held hostage by some of the most self-defeating political forces in Kenyan history, or he is simply not himself.

When this analysis was put to a third opinion, a medical doctor with political links remarked: “It is also entirely possible that the former PM is afflicted by both terrible advisers in his inner – and most trusted – circles and by extent, senility. Nine years in the detention dungeons of the Moi era was no joke, it was bound to have consequences. Even great leaders who were much older than Raila suffered the consequences of extended incarceration to their dying days – look at the cases of Jomo Kenyatta and Nelson Mandela.

This moot question came to the fore when ODM called a parliamentary group meeting on Thursday October 30 at the party’s Orange House headquarters in Nairobi’s Kilimani area.
Also specially invited to the meeting was Kalonzo and Wetang’ula.

What transpired at the ODM PG shocked most of those present and then the country and the rest of the world. It is said, those behind the chaos were bitter that Kalonzo and Wetung’ula aware of Raila’s current mental status, have convinced him to be part of the share of millions of shillings ODM is to receive from the registrar of political parties. A section in ODM wants the money only for the party and want Magerer Langat, the executive director out of the office to control the huge amount. Analysts say if the money sharing factor is not well handled by Cord, affiliated parties will split the opposition outfit.

The ODM executive director was seated at the high table in a big tent erected in the Orange House compound, next to Raila and Kalonzo and other VIPs, when a goons squad rushed into the venue and went straight for him, ordering him to get of the enclosure.

Half-a-dozen men attacked the official, whom they ejected from the PG meeting in full view of the coalition leadership.
ODM secretary-general Anyang’ Nyong’o blamed unspecified “hooligans” for the attack, saying the party would meet soon to discuss the matter. The father of Hollywood star Lupita Nyong’o played the same role at Orange House as he did in February at Kasarani, putting on such a show of shock and innocence it could snatch the next Oscar from his daughter.

Later, it was alleged that differences over the use of political party funds and a push by youthful MPs for a stake in the ODM leadership were behind the assault against Lang’at. That the Kasarani chaos and the Magerer saga clearly manifests a political father whose children are fighting over gains putting in considerations his survival. 

A good example is when a judge  issues an injunction preventing an order by Uhuru from being given effect.
According to sources well-versed with Mutunga’s succession, there is a clandestine move within some quarters that have been plotting on how to hound Mutunga out of office even before the expiry of his constititutional tenure.
The plot is to frustrate him into resigning and to pave way for appointment of a maleable CJ. Born in June 1947 and having been appointed to the office of CJ in June 2011, Mutunga is expected to retire in June 2017 when he turns 70 which is the mandatory retirement age. He must leave office no later than June 16 2017. By that time, Kenyans will be gearing for elections and it is believed if ousted from office before, he will be a major score for Jubilee. Fear is that if replaced in 2017, the issue is bound to generate a lot of political heat.
It is no secret the Jubilee administration is not happy with him hence, the plot to force him resign as soon as it is practical. A section of Uhuru handlers now perceive him as the most principled CJ Kenya has ever had so far and it is because of this that he is said to have ruffled the feathers of Uhuru handlers the wrong way.
Sources say that ever since he was sworn in, Uhuru and his deputy William Ruto have not been comfortable with him. First, they claim his appointment was brokered by then Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Those who believe this to be the case cite Miguna Miguna’s book: Kidneys for the King where Miguna says that on January 28 2011, he sent an urgent email to Mutunga concerning President Mwai Kibaki’s decision to unilaterally nominate five names for positions of CJ, deputy CJ, AG, DPP and controller of budget without consulting Raila.
Miguna writes: “Dear Willy, I’ve just spoken with the PM, He called me from Addis Ababa.... Apparently, Kibaki didn’t consult the PM. The PM has given me some assignment on this. This is a total outrage, ft is also unconstitutional; we must expose and fight these appointments.”
Miguna says Willy responded: “Miguna, I cannot go through to Orengo or (his wife) Betty. It is clear that Kibaki has decided to declare war on the Kenyan people. We are actually in the process of a coup that overthrows the constitution as well as the grand coalition government. Kibaki is now acting out of desperation over Ocampo 6. If you reach Jim (Orengo) let him know that this is a coup in the making and Kibaki should be accused of that upfront in no uncertain terms. I am sure Kibaki has the backing of the military and the machinery of violence internally. Finally, Raila should demand that Kibaki resigns for not upholding the new constitution.”
By then, Kibaki had appointed Githu as Attorney General, Kioko Kilukumi as director of prosecutions and Alnarshir Vishram as Chief Justice.
Mutunga first fell out with Uhuru men when he flew to Senegal at the invitation of US president Barrack Obama during his second African tour that eventually brought him to Tanzania but skipped his father’s homeland.
Then there is the fact that Mutunga has links with NGOs more so, the Ford Foundation where he worked as the programmes officer and propelled Najib Balala, Anyang Nyong’o among others to make it to parliament. Informed sources told your favourite newspaper that Jubilee’s concern is that Mutunga employed staff from NGOs to the Judiciary. Currently, the NGO fraternity is at loggerheads with the government over foreign funding.
The plot now is to kick out Mutunga and install a Jubilee friendly CJ since Mutunga is now being considered as being used by outside forces to frustrate Jubilee programmes and projects.
 Those pushing for Shollei’s name are those from the URP wing of the Jubilee. This is based on TNA-URP power sharing deal and with TNA holding the position of AG with Githu Mungai and that of Solicitor General with Njee Muturi, URP sources now say that URP should get the CJ’s slot to balance the equation. Inside sources well versed with the government operations revealed that just like former spymaster Michael Gichagi was forced to resign even when enjoying tenure in office, the next on line is the Attorney General Githu. While in coalition government, Githu is said to have had links with Raila and did not take the ICC issue seriously. He has only emerged to defend the government and the accused with zeal after those accused won the presidency. Njee is the man to replace Githu once the opportunity arises.
It is against this background that Gladys Shollei is being considered a frontrunner to take over from Mutunga. The URP wing and those fronting for her say that the gender rule favours her and that she could make history by being the first female CJ in Kenya.
Apart from gender, the regional balance also favours her since she comes from Rift Valley. She is also said to be close to Ruto.
Rumours have been spreading that at one time, the JSC recommended that she should be arrested and charged and even forwarded files to the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission but to date, no action has been taken against her. It is being whispered that it is part of the game plan to prepare her for the Mutunga succession bid.
If she faces criminal charges, her chances are thin. To fix her, a section in Jubilee not comfortable with her operations and key players in the legal field want to institute private criminal prosecutions against her. The move will, if it takes off the ground, block her out of the Mutunga succession race. Surprisingly, current members of JSC are also out to have her prosecuted.
Shollei’s protector at EACC is one Jane Keino, a top official at the anti-craft body. She is said to be well-connected to Ruto and URP top brass. Also in the game plan is lawyer Donald Kipkorir. He is one of the lawyers who were politically correct during the Moi regime. With the return of Jubilee to power, Kipkorir is back to the limelight yet again.
In 2011, he was awarded Sh143 million for services he rendered in a dispute between the National Social Security Fund and a contractor. High Court Judge Muga Apondi ordered NSSF to pay Kipkorir the money after he sued them for his legal fees.
Kipkorir had acted for Pan Africa Builders and Contractors which had sued NSSF for breach of contract over construction of an estate in Nairobi’s Kitisuru area. His name was also associated with controversial legal payments by Post Bank during the Moi era. Kipkorir’s social life is subject to discussion. Due to his past deeds, he cannot hold the position of the Chief Justice.
Another name that is being mentioned from the URP side and by extension, the Kalenjin community is that of Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen. One school of thought has it that by being a confidante of Ruto, he can get the job but others have dismissed him saying he has been deeply involved in politics to the extent that he cannot be accepted by Kenyans and more so, the opposition to hold the powerful position of CJ. Doubted is the depth of his legal education when juxtaposed with the AG’s office.
The name of former Speaker Kenneth Marende is also remotely being mentioned as a possible successor to Mutunga. Early in the year, Marende pulled out of ODM elections although he was being seen as a front runner for the chairmanship slot.
His refusal to take part in the ODM elections left many of his supporters and ODM leadership  confused. There have been claims that he has deserted ODM as he prepares to get a government job. Recently, he announced that he is not allied to any political party and that he has taken sabbatical leave from politics.
Those fronting Marende say although the slot is for Rift Valley and URP, Ruto and Uhuru could play politics with the position and give it to Marende to gain political mileage in Luhyaland. Further, it is said, apart from bringing the Luhya community on board, Marende is likely to win international confidence in the Judiciary following his track record as the National Assembly Speaker and the manner in which he conducted business in the House.
Going by the fact that the larger Mount Kenya region has been locked out of the Mutunga succession, other regions such as Coast, Kamba and the small communities are now said to be having their eyes set on the Mutunga seat.
According to sources, Uhuru and Ruto could also pull a surprise and pick Mutunga successor from a minority tribe. Should they settle on that then again it is going to favour  Ruto. The block known as Kamatusa Kalenjin, Maasai, Turkana and Samburu are to benefit. Here High Court Judge Isaac Lenaola and the Director of Prosecution Tobiko Keriako are men to watch.
Lawyers we talked to say Lenaola and Tobiko have what it takes to be in the CJ office compared to those being pushed by the DP’s inner circle and if one of them landed the slot things are bound to work well.
Names of Supreme Court Judges have also feature. Njoki Ndungu has been ruled out of the race as she comes from the Mount Kenya region. Daniel Tanui has also been ruled out of the succession due to age factor while Jackson Ojwang’ comes from Nyanza but the slot to Jubilee is for Rift Valley. Smokin Wanjala who is from Western Kenya is also a front runner but his links in the NGO world is working against him. The current Registrar is however favoured and the gender factor is also on her side.
Going back to the minority tribes, Justice Lenaola and Tobiko are most likely to be accepted across the political divide.
Deputy CJ Kaplan Rawal has not featured in the succession debate despite being the second in command. She is known to play in the middle ground and is not allied to any political divide.
Again back to the minority tribes, the name of lawyer Abdikadir Mohamed is being flouted. His main undoing is that he comes from Isalamic background and North Eastern region which is well represented in the Jubilee administration. He also comes from the same region as national assembly majority leader Aden Duale.
Other names being mentioned include Kihara Kariuki, Msagha Mbogholi, Lee Muthoga and Joseph Nyamu. Justice Kihara Kariuki was initially appointed by then President Kibaki as Chief Justice but Raila objected and the appointment was annulled.
Back to Shollei, it was not by chance that recently she came out from nowhere to attack Mutunga on Judiciary management. Sources say she has just come out to do the last damage to Mutunga’s character before he is forced out of the office.
It is not therefore a big surprise that what started as a simple showdown between the Judicial Service Commission and Shollei has now come back to haunt Mutunga with members of the JSC allied to him and who have been vocal in defending him being haunted too.
When Shollei first leaked out the dirty deals at JSC, it was the Senate majority leader Kindiki Kithure who revealed that there is a cartel which was plotting for Mutunga’s succession in two years. However, what he failed to understand was, the succession was not only within JSC but also in high political circles.
Insiders say a plot to oust Mutunga started even before he was sworn in. Some judges and magistrates had vowed to block Mutunga and his then Deputy Nancy Baraza.
Those opposed to his appointment claimed that he had no experience as a judge or as a legal practitioner. Because of this, opponents claimed he was ill-suited to spearhead a credible and surgical reform of the judiciary
Opposition by the church and various religious sections of the society made Mutunga’s appointment controversial.
Mutunga’s earring was in spotlight. His marriage was not spared neither up to now.
It was the then Eldoret North MP Ruto now DP who said, “We cannot have a CJ who spots studs on his ears and claims he uses them to communicate with unseen spirits”.
To have way in the Judiciary plot was to disband the JSC and replace it with a friendly commission that would also appoint a friendly CJ to replace Mutunga was hatched with Uhuru being sucked in.
When Uhuru suspended six members of the JSC, many thought it was a way of cleaning up the judiciary but lawyers say it was part of the Mutunga succession.
However, the appointment of a tribunal to be chaired by Aaron Ringera, Jennifer Shamalla, Ambrose Otieno Weda and Mutua Kilaka to investigate the six JSC commissioners was declared quashed by High Court. Up to now, Uhuru and his advisers have not come to terms with the court ruling. 
Had the tribunal been allowed to carry out its mandate and found the six JSC guilty, the president could have disbanded the commission and that would have provided him with an opportunity to put in place a more friendly commission.
The six members of the JSC who were to be investigated included Ahmednasir Abdullahi, Samuel Kobia, Christine Mango, Justice Mohammed Warsame, Emily Ominde and Florence Mwangangi.
Two of the members, Ahmednassir representing the Law Society of Kenya and Warsame for judges have since been replaced after their terms ended. High Court Judge Aggrey Muchelule replaced Warsame while Tom Ojienda replaced Ahmednassir.
But what has now left many wondering is why people believed to be close to the centre of power are plotting Mutunga’s succession more so after he led the Supreme Court in making a decision in the ruling coalition’s favour.
But even as Mutunga fights for his survival, we have information he is also plotting to ensure Shollei does not succeed him. 

Shollei recently engaged Mutunga in cyber war regarding Mutunga’s official residence. Mutunga declared through his official Twitter account that he has no official residence and that the house under investigation did not belong to the Judiciary. 

“I have no official residence. Since my appointment, I live in a rented apartment. My house allowance is 100K and is taxed,” stated the Chief Justice. This prompted an attack from Shollei who questioned Dr Mutunga’s delay in occupying the official residence despite demanding for it.

“@WMutunga 4 months after coming to office on 20/5/11 was already begging/demanding for a residence. If he requested why has he not moved in?” She tweeted. The house was bought during Shollei’s tenure.
JSC also released dossier on Shollei giving a number complaints. It is alleged Shollei attempted to interfere with a fraud case regarding the land grabbed from a victim of post election violence involving Ruto. Allegations by two judges that Shollei attempted to intervene for Ruto with the aim of securing a favourable ruling. The two judges have asked to appear as witnesses before the JSC over the matter.

The other allegation is that the registrar claimed a total of Sh580,000 from the Judiciary as per diem for seven days for a trip to The Hague though she had not travelled there.
The employment of Shollei’s former colleagues at the electoral commission and the National Council for Law Reporting raises eyebrows that some them High Court judges and enjoy big perks.

Shollei is alleged to have bought two generators each for selected judges one for use in Nairobi and the other in their rural homes. She is also accused of trying to buy a building for Sh900 million without the knowledge or consent of the JSC.