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Citizen Weekly

Wednesday 31 December 2014


In the run up to the September 20 2010 by election for Makadara Parliamentary seat, a young man came out and announced his candidature for the seat. 


The little known political newcomer by name Mike Mbuvi first declared that he would contest on PNU ticket but doors were closed after the party gave the then immediate former MP Dick Wathika a direct ticket. His attempts to join ODM and face the former MP Reuben Ndolo in the party’s nominations also hit a snag as Ndolo was too given a direct ticket.

Mike’s interest in representing Makadara people did not end there. He quickly sought the Narc-Kenya ticket which was an affiliate of PNU and was nominated to fly the Narc-kenya ticket.

On the day of the by-elections, eyes were on Ndolo and Wathika while Mike was seen as a political greenhorn while others referred to him as a non-starter. Many were surprised when the the then IEBC through the electronic results transmission saw Mike take an early lead and when the finally tally was done, Mike had 19,913 votes, Ndolo (17,652) and Wathika (11,088).

Mike slowly became more popular, more influential and more active in his parliamentary duties and more so in serving the people of Makadara. He is a well-known philanthropist who has helped Nairobians irrespective of their religion, colour, tribe or political affiliation.

Today, Mike but well know as Sonko has moved from a political greenhorn to a political heavyweight and of course one of the most influential politicians in the Jubilee Coalition.

He can be best described as a leading, prominent, persuasive, significant, inspiring, influential, potential, aggressive, caring, accessible and down to earth politician who cannot be ignored in future politics not only of Nairobi County but nationally.

The story of Mike Mbuvi Sonko can best be summarized as per the scripts Mathew 21:42 “Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: "'The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes'?

Tuesday 23 December 2014


It can only happen in politics: a grown man, indeed a grandfather, being attacked by a woman young to be his daughter and emerging out with bare buttocks. The grandfather was Senator Johnson Muthama and the lady, MP Alice Ng’ang’a; and the battleground was the supposedly hallowed presincts of parliament where MPs decided to convert the speaker’s gallery into a gladiators’ ring.
Sources within Jubilee revealed that Muthama was lucky since the initial plan was to strip him stark naked and parade him in front of both local and international media for being the “biggest thorn on Jubilee government”.
Jubilee supporters are said to be bitter with Muthama for having been on the forefront in unrelenting scathing attacks against President Uhuru Kenyatta’s regime, openly spewing venom at the Jubilee government, claiming it is corrupt and lacks ideological template to move the country forward.
It all started when senators Moses Wetang’ula, James Orengo, Bonnie Khalwale, Muthama and Janet Ong’era pitched tent at the speaker’s gallery. They started cheering as Cord MPs voiced their concern over the contentious Security Laws Amendment Bill which has since been signed into law by the president.
As the shouting continued, Suba MP John Mbadi crossed to the government side, grabbed copy of the order paper from Asman Kamama and smashed it to the ground before following it and shredding it into smithereens. Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso who was in the chair could be overheard frantically calling on orderlies to call the speaker Justin Muturi.
As other MPs joined Mbadi on the floor with their order paper copies flying all over, the senators were singing “bado mapambano” (struggle continues). Speaker  Muturi by now in the chair ordered that they to be ejected out of the house but the sergeant-at-arms was no match for the senators and the speaker’s orders fell on deaf ears. It was thus that Jubilee legislators transformed themselves into sergeants-at-arms and climbed up to the gallery with fists clenched but their disadvantage was that they were in suits and ties while Muthama’s brigade was in casual wear.
The Jubilee hit squad had Onesmus Ngunjiri of Bahati, David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East), Onesmus Muthoni (Chuka Igamba), Ng’ang’a (Thika Town), James Gakuya (Embakasi North) and David Kiuna (Molo). Kajiado North Moses Ole Sakuda was also in the group of molesters and it is said he suddenly became a lion and mauled at MP Simba Arati nipping a finger. Arati had gone to rescue Bonnie Khalwale who was about to be tossed to the chamber six metres below.
 Fearing for his safety and health, the MP is said to have gone for an urgent HIV test since he could not take anything for granted and for fear that the biter had bleeding dental system. It has emerged the Jubilee MPs had each earmarked an opponent to take on as they went up. Ng’ang’a, a mother of one who has been closely associated with a leading parastatal boss was to checkmate Senator Janet Ong’era, a nominated Cord senator.
Chuka Igamba Ngo’mbe MP, Muthomi Njuki, was to footmark Wetangula while Kiuna, a former district commissioner during Kanu days was to put a black eye on Khalwale as David Gikaria checkmated battle-hardened Orengo who already had put his eyeglasses away for the fight that he was smelling.
Like in the movies, the Jubilee combatants swept into the gallery and hell broke loose as karate kicks and blows flew. Kiuna was about throw Khalwale to the parliamentary floor but lady luck saved the agile Kakamega senator. Kiuna was to be helped by James Gakuya, the Embakasi North MP. Ng’ang’a who was to face Ong’era is said to have chickened on seeing the senator’s body mass and she decided to play supporting cast to Ngunjiri against Muthama.
But it was Ngunjiri who effectively performed the duties assigned. He went for Muthama’s throat and Muthama taken without notice went unconscious for a moment. It is then that Nga’ng’a, abusing Muthama as a man with questionable family values, hit him in his private parts as Ngunjiri pulled his trousers with an aim of exposing Muthama’s manhood in public. Thanks to the hours he spends in the gym, the streetwise senator was soon on his feet swinging left-rights like he was once Mike Tyson’s sparring partner one which floored an attacker.
At one time Ng’ang’a’s hand went through the hole in Muthama’s trouser and she withdrew it immediately. She later during the Jubilee post-mortem on the inaugust brawl told her colleagues that she had feared that Muthama had not worn an underwear and quipped that she thought men of Muthama’s age have discarded tight underwears for loose briefs. Muthama had planned to go on holiday to Sechelles but it seems he will now not enjoy a swim in the sea and a poultice will replace a massage as he recuperates. Incidentally, Muthama’s woes have won himself more admirers who think him courageous and today is second to Raila Odinga in popularity in Cord.

The people Uhuru must ask before he makes any move

When Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta became the fourth president of Kenya in March last year, he entered into the powerful office on the land as the youngest yet, but with the least powers of any of his predecessors, including his late father, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, the architect of Kenya’s imperial presidency system today.
President Uhuru is also different in as being the only one of the Kenyan presidents to operate with a well-knitted and hidden but publicly unacknowledged kitchen cabinet, a fact he denies its very existence of publicly.
 His father’s powerbrokers were well known and included Kenyans from many tribes, with a core clique from his home area that came to be known as the “Kiambu Mafia”.
Jomo Kenyatta’s early powerbrokers included late Tom Mboya and James Gichuru. His inner and permanent team (which however did not always act as a team) included late Mbiyu Koinange, Charles Njonjo, and Njoroge Mungai who passed on this year.
Daniel Moi, the second and longest serving president of Kenya had Nicholas Biwott, Joshua Kulei and Mark Too (Mr Fix it) as well as regional kingpins such as the Coast’s Shariff Nassir, the Kikuyu Rift Valley’s Kariuki Chotara, late Kanu secretary general John Joseph Kamotho, Western Kenya political titan Moses Budamba Mudavadi and security/administration PS, the late Hezekiah Oyugi, a Luo who ultimately came to grief.
Mwai Kibaki ascended to the third presidency of Kenya and served the shortest stint, two terms for a total of 10 years and enshrined in the constitution. His powerbrokers included Francis Muthaura, Nick Wanjohi (who is still his private secretary), industrialist Joe Wanjui and minister Amos Kimunya.  
However, with the rough passage of the Security Laws (Amendment) Act on Thursday last week and its assent by Uhuru the next day, a law which gives the presidency and the Jubilee administration sweeping police and intelligence powers, the kitchen cabinet of the fourth president will become much more high profile and ultimately, he will have to publicly acknowledge their existence and their roles than the case has been. The timing of the introduction of the controversial and contentious laws immediately the International Criminal Court dropped charges against Uhuru is subject to discussion in certain quarters.
All kinds of analysts – media, investor/corporate, diplomatic, intelligence and military – are keenly watching the people around the president to see who will emerge the first among equals, or primus inter pares, in the manner of Njonjo, Biwott and Muthaura.
Uhuru’s kitchen cabinet is a multiple layer group formed of members of his family, political appointees, State House and presidency staffers, operatives and members of the Armed Forces and other security agencies.
This group dominates strategic political, economic and security decision-making. The core members of the kitchen cabinet were responsible for convincing Uhuru to gun for the draconian Security Laws (Amendment) Act.
As Kenyans brace themselves for the New Year 2015, the heat is truly beating the kitchen cabinet and the country. By the end of next year, there will be civil society activists, media houses and individual managers/journalists, NGO operatives, as well as, hopefully,  big-time actual terrorists, who will be thoroughly in trouble under the Terror Act.
Uhuru’s kitchen cabinet comprises a small clique of unelected but highly specialised and experienced individuals, some of them among the richest people in Kenya.
 One of the world’s most distinguished researchers, Faustino Taderera, in his book Organisational Management and Strategy, which is considered to be essential reading for kitchen cabinets in both public and private sectors in the West, top government and corporate strategists  should be knowledgeable about the status of the world economy; corporate warfare, boardroom coups and leadership dynamics; turn-around management; crisis management; change management; marketing plans; sustainable competitive advantage; core competencies; corporate and national branding; mergers and acquisitions; globalisation strategies for firms and nations; and controversial tenders and corruption.
By this measure, Uhuru’s unacknowledged but much consulted kitchen cabinet reads more than fits the bill.
Mama Ngina and Muhoho Kenyatta
Uhuru’s elite kitchen cabinet clique has as its undisputed head, Kenya’s First Lady, his mother, Mama Ngina Muhoho Kenyatta. She has the final say on a wide range of decisions and she is understood to have rallied William Ruto to join hands with Uhuru to go for the the country’s leadership which the duo won. Her closest adviser is Uhuru’s younger brother, Muhoho Kenyatta, who is named after her father, a former Senior Chief Muhoho. The combination of Mama Ngina and Muhoho is neat and massively powerful. They control the vast Kenyatta family corporate fortune and were instrumental in Uhuru’s long journey to the seat of throne. Combined, they are the only force in Kenya that can overrule him, but of course, only far behind closed doors in the corridors-of-power.
Mama Ngina is an astute businesswoman who has presided over the growth of her late husband’s business empire as the matriarch of the founding First Family. She has an institutional memory of the presidency and power play in Kenya that is second to none. She is in the bracket of the richest women in Africa ranked in third position.
Her son, Muhoho, is a natural-born business thinker and leader. He maintains a low profile, leaving his elder brother, Uhuru, to be the celebrity politician of the family. He has run the family business empire for 15 years.
George Kamau Muhoho
George Kamau Muhoho, born in 1936, is Uhuru’s uncle and a former director general of the Kenya Airports Authority.  Muhoho is a son of late Chief Muhoho  and brother of Mama Ngina.
He studied the Catholic doctrine at the Collegio San Pietro in Rome church law until 1968. In 1971, he was appointed as the first black African diplomat to the Vatican Embassy as attaché at the EU in Brussels. In 1972, he was commissioned by Pope Paul VI and returned to the lay state. He was then responsible for the public relations department of the UNEP in Nairobi. He married lawyer Jean Njeri Koinange in 1976 and was subsequently appointed by former President Daniel arap Moi into the Cabinet.  He is one of the ruling class still living today under the wings of his nephew Uhuru.
First Lady Margaret Wanjiru Gakuo Kenyatta, is the daughter of a former Kenya Railways employee, the late Mzee Gakuo. They share a name with her step sister-in-law, Margaret Wambui Kenyatta, who served as Nairobi mayor of Nairobi (1970-1976). The First Lady is a former Kianda School student. She is liked by many for her simplicity as regards to her nature and dressing style.
 Since the inauguration of her husband, Margaret has been running a campaign to reduce child maternal mortality rate in the entire country in a campaign dubbed Beyond Zero. On October 24, she was named UN Person of the Year.
Jomo Gechaga
The next most powerful focal point in the president’s kitchen cabinet is his private secretary Jomo Gechaga. The son of former multi-national corporation chairman Udi Gechaga and Uhuru’s stepsister Jeni, Gechaga is absolutely loyal to and trusted by his president uncle and the rest of the family, including Mama Ngina and Muhoho. His father was the chairman of Lonrho Africa in the 1970s, when the founder of that British conglomerate, the late Rowland Tiny Rowlands was at the height of his powers and a friend of several African presidents.
Jomo ‘s father Udi is the son of BM Gechaga and Jemima Gechaga, Njoroge Mungai’s sister. BM Gechaga, who is now in his 90s, was the chairman of BAT, the multi-national cigarette manufacturers and the Nation Media Group for more than 30 years.
General Julius W Karangi
The most powerful element of Uhuru’s kitchen cabinet is Chief of the Defence Forces General Julius Waweru Karangi. The earliest signs that Karangi is a trusted Uhuru strategist emerged very early in his presidency, when he was hosted by the general at his Nyeri home and even spent the night there. No other Armed Forces chief in Kenyan history has hosted his Commander-in-Chief overnight in his own home.
Karangi is also Kenya’s first military chief to go to war in a neighbouring country, the KDF incursion into Somalia in hot pursuit of the al Shabaab terror militia.
Not long after US President Barack Obama announced that he had included Uhuru in his invitation to more than 45 leaders for the inaugural US-Africa Leadership Forum, Gen Karangi quietly left the country at the invitation of US Army General Martin Dempsey, the head of America’s Chiefs of Staff, the world’s most powerful military’s leaders and managers. Karangi was received with full honours at the Pentagon, where he inspected multi-service guards of honour.
Gen Dempsey then took Karangi to his private room, where they dined. Dempsey awarded Karangi America’s highest honour, the Legion of Merit (LOM).
During his US tour, which the Kenyan media was not even aware of, but which was far more significant than Cord-ODM supremo Raila Odinga’s three-month tour at Boston University’s African Presidential Centre, and which paved the way for Uhuru’s two tours of the US this year - in August and September - Karangi actually navigated an F-16 fighter jet. Impeccable sources indicate that the Kenya Air Force is soon upgrading its jet fighter fleet with F16s, which will make it a regional power in East, Central, Great Lakes and Horn of Africa.
That Karangi has extraordinary powers was underscored by two events in 2014. First was the part he quietly played in the events leading up to the highly volatile Saba Saba Day rally.   At that time, it looked like Cord, which had also threatened to march to State House, was out to cause chaos in Kenya by precipitating a massively violent uprising and sabotaging Uhuru’s invitation to America by Obama.
 Karangi personally intervened with top media owners, managers and editors and put the fear of God into them if they tried to transmit the Saba Saba Day rally live all day.
The media bosses, who were invited to an innocent breakfast meeting at the Serena Hotel, across the road from Uhuru Park, where Cord planned to spend the day, took one look at a furious Karangi and cut their broadcast of the Cord rally down to the speeches only, with express instructions to editors to cut transmission the minute there was any violence or violent utterance, for instance suggestions to invade State House.
The general had impressed on the media operators that they would be in serious breach of national security and be held corporately and personally liable if they did not cooperate. They did not have to guess the consequences. The media had never encountered the military in this manner.
It is widely believed that the KDF is behind Uhuru’s frequent donning of military fatigues as C-in-C, a fact that is highly resented by the opposition coalition.
Karangi’s powerful influence was also seen in the appointment of two senior military men, one of them retired, to head the National Intelligence Service and the Immigration Department.  Major General Philip Kameru is now the NIS boss and Major General (Rtd) Gordon Kihalangwa heads Immigration.
Although he is slated to retire by Easter 2015, Karangi remains extremely powerful and will continue to mastermind many aspects of Jubilee’s security strategies and implementations.
Tycoon Chris Kirubi
Billionaire businessman Chris Kirubi has for years tried to join presidential kitchen cabinets in Kenya but with mixed results. However, under the Jubilee regime, he has finally arrived and is basking in the reflected glory of his special relationship with Uhuru.
In the 1990s, Kirubi was the face of the Central Province Development Support Group organised by himself, then late Kanu secretary general Kamotho and media mogul SK Macharia as a ploy to get Moi and his handlers to believe that he still had Kikuyu backing and the community was worthy of succeeding him when the right time came.
Kirubi was assigned an office at State House, Nairobi, throughout the 1997 general election campaign, where he spent the time talking on the phone to his contacts and walking without shoes on the red carpet to show off his silk socks.
However, when the Kikuyu voted overwhelmingly for Mwai Kibaki at that year’s polls, a furious Joshua Kulei, Moi’s private secretary and a tycoon in his own right, locked Kirubi out of State House and started a vicious propaganda campaign against him and a long deceased white cabinet minister in Kenya, Bruce Mackenzie.
During the Kibaki era, Kirubi tried to join another presidential inner circle but was again rebuffed and even hauled to court in the Uchumi supermarkets saga.
Today, the man who used to host Hollywood superstar John Travolta at his home in Nairobi is feeling no pain. Kirubi gets to accompany the president on trips to billionaire playgrounds in the Gulf States and elsewhere and firms associated with him are winning mega tenders left, right and centre.
Away from the world of mega deals, power and patronage, a media sector player who is well connected and acquainted throughout the sector,  aging Kirubi is also useful to the Uhuru inner circle for outreach purposes.
Joseph Kinyua
President Uhuru’s Chief of Staff and Head of Civil Service is a top flight career civil servant who was well-regarded and even trusted by multi-lateral and bilateral donors during his many years at Treasury. Although well within retirement age, he was fished back and given two of the most influential posts in government by the young Uhuru administration.
Kinyua first came to the notice of Kenyans when John Harun Mwau, the Boss, was briefly appointed the chair of Kenya’s first anti-corruption outfit and went straight for Kinyua and his team at Treasury. However, the then Finance minister, Simeon Nyachae, also a billionaire tycoon, came to Kinyua’s aid and stood by him until Mwau himself was sent packing and faced a commission of inquiry into his conduct.
Kinyua is a hard worker and a master of detail. He is also so self-effacing that he was still using an old VW Passat even after being appointed head of public service, until Uhuru ordered him to get a Mercedes and a motorcade.
Michael Kamau
Engineer Michael Kamau, the Transport cabinet secretary, is entrusted with the most iconic infrastructure projects of the Jubilee era. The Single Gauge Railway scandal, in which an Italian firm has succeeded in stopping a Kenya Railways tender to a consortium of Chinese and Kenyan companies through both the courts and Parliament, is his biggest headache.
Kamau is pouring all his energies into returning SGR on track but he would have to be a miracle worker to save the deal in its present form.
He is of value to the kitchen cabinet as a John Michuki-like no-nonsense operative who delivers results. Friends and associates say Kamau is getting sleepless nights from the SGR nightmare, which has seen Uhuru cancel at least one Coast tour. Analysts say that parliament’s stoppage of the SGR deal is a case of a clash of competing gravy trains and that Kamau is suffering because he refused to entertain MPs’ usual demands.
Njee Muturi
Solicitor General Njee Muturi is a long-distance Uhuru loyalist and friend. He gave up law practice to become Uhuru’s legal aide before the 2002 presidential poll in which Kibaki trounced Uhuru and has stuck with him through thick and thin since then.
 He is clearly Uhuru’s preferred choice for Attorney General and has big chances of making it. The level of trust placed in Muturi by Uhuru was indicated when he was dispatched to Britain to appear in court for Kenya after the Anglo Leasing masterminds ambushed the country by unleashing judgments procured from Swiss and British jurisdictions at just a time Kenya was floating Africa’s biggest sovereign bond yet.
Muturi’s late father, Harun Muturi, was an agent of Uhuru’s late father Jomo from the eve of independence and went on to make a fortune for himself. At one time, he was a business associate of billionaire businessman Stanley Githunguri, another friend of the first family, whom he made executive chairman of the National Bank of Kenya.
 But Githunguri, who, like Charles Njonjo, seems to prefer Raila over Uhuru, is now so completely out of the centre of power that Mama Ngina does not even acknowledge his greetings, not even a handshake. To add on,Githunguri’s health of late is waning.
Anne Waiguru is the iron lady of the kitchen cabinet and one of Uhuru’s trusted lieutenants within the corridors of power as  cabinet secretary in charge of Devolution and Planning. She is viewed as one of the strongest pillars surrounding Uhuru presidency. She is spearheading the slum upgrading of Kibera slums which is Uhuru’s pet project.

Mafia-like cartel takes over Nyamira government operations

Interestingly, all the crooks are fully employed at the governor’s office as political advisers, revenue collectors or even county coordinators yet most do not have academic papers. They do not spare some MCAs and county executives. On some occasions they grace functions with donations and speeches claiming to have been sent by the governor to deliver.
The goons are a law unto themselves. They dictate policy issues instead of leaving it to elected leaders, but claim to be talking on behalf of the governor. They virtually, illegally control key functions of the county government including dictating operations and decisions at the county public board which has lately been suspended and the county parliament. They extort money from job seekers, most who end up not getting the promised jobs.
Also deeply involved in this mafia cartel and its corruption schemes are directors of the Nyamira Deluxe, bus company who hail from the county and belong to the governor’s immediate clan. Also in it is EACC official Charles Rasugu who is based in Kisumu town office and another locally based NIS spy a one Nyaga who are allegedly on big retainers to offer protection.
Surprisingly, all this rot is taking place yet Joseph Kiangoi, the former area MP, serves as the governor’s chief legal adviser.
The looting spree started at the inauguration of counties. The initial money given by the Transitional Authority was allegedly embezzled by the governor with the help of the first county government officers deployed by the TA. It is claimed that the governor corrupted the TA deployed interim county secretary James Ntabo to make fraudulent contracts and tenders that led to misappropriation of Sh61,592,200 TA gave specifically for infrastructure development, civil works and purchase of the county parliament hansard, and over half of normal revenue collected from ordinary taxation and rates in the arrangement of former Nyamira county authorities were embezzled.
At the governor’s behest, Ntabo, then on secondment from the provincial administration reportedly contracted and signed for projects among them-Ngisa, Gianchore, Achoki and Magnifica each at Sh2 million. Chellen at Sh2,701,719, Saumo at Sh8,496,302, Masosa at Sh6,880,546 and Citrolam at 27,914,460 on June 28, 2013 without consulting the then county accounting officer who was interim principal officer, finance. He also committed the Nyamira county government to credit against government financial regulations and procedures, it is claimed. This. it is alleged, was because the contracts were to be merely used to steal part of the money in cahoots with contractors. When accounting for these expenditures became complicated with the headquarters raising queries and threatening tough action against culprits, instead of Nyagarama reporting Ntabo, he allegedly worked with him to cook accounts books and reports and covered up the theft.
Nyagarama’s favourite daughter Emily, it is claimed, dashed for the same TA grant and developed fraudulent vouchers for Sh22 million to service fictitious functions most which the county government has no mandate over. She would later allegedly pocket another Sh17 million fraudulently billed for fake renovations. It is only the fraction that remained that was utilised to pay salaries for the employees at the new county government.
On the revenue collection front the governor’s new hirelings ensured that of the previously average monthly collections totaling Sh 14 million, only an average of Sh6 million, and fluctuating downwards, is being remitted while the other half they keep swindling and sharing amongst themselves and the governor.
Having successfully tested his embezzlement skills at inception, it is alleged, the governor finetuned his mafia infrastructure quickly and by the time the first real allocation of Sh3.3 billion landed, their appetite was whetted. Officially, 30pc of the budget monies is to go to development projects while 70pc is to cater for recurrent expenditure.
However, much of the development funds are consumed on through con tricks for which an elaborate fraudulent documentation to cover for and cheat arrangement is in place. To date there is no single project to have been started nor completed in the county despite many official documents in the records telling otherwise and hundreds of millions of shillings paid out.
It has now been established that the payment documents and others are for ghost projects and others cooked up for already existing projects done through other programs like CDF, former Local Authority Councils (LATF) and even by donors and CBOs. Such projects include: schools, health facilities, boreholes, polytechnics, bridges and Artificial Insemination points for farmers.
There also exists a parallel arrangement where many ghost seminars and workshops (using fake names of those in attendance) are being paid for with a lot of money being swindled. Insiders report that this has been facilitated by county planning officer Paul Onyango with the help of senior officers in department of Devolution in Nairobi and managers of hotels and resorts who take hefty kickbacks to issue cooked-up receipts for bookings and use of conference facilities. This has the blessings of the governor because he pockets a bigger part of the loot, it is alleged.
In the mix of all the cooking of financial documents and fraudulent payments are bank officials, mainly of the Kenya Commercial Bank in Nyamira. These officials have strangely allowed huge cash withdrawals for payments by the county government in these looting transactions. Note that single cash withdrawals have been as much as Sh10 million a day.
 This has become so rampant that MCAs and junior officers joined the fray to “try their luck”. Unfortunately, the resultant financial windfall for them from their own congames have spoilt them and many are indulging in conspicuous consumption including  buying new cars and investing in Nyamira and in neighbouring Kisumu, Kisii, Eldoret and even in Nairobi.
 True to the saying there is no honour amongst thieves, a recent nasty fallout with the KCB manager at Nyamira Pius Oburi over sharing of loot saw the extermination of Oburi in cold blood in his house within the quarters of the Nyamira Police lines. He was trailed from a meeting in Kisumu.
He had disagreed with county government officers and a senior EACC official based in Kisumu who is also a senior operative in this cartel, it is claimed. Despite reports indicating that an armed gang stormed in and ransacked his house before brutally killing him, there was no police intervention and no culprits have ever been nabbed to answer for the gangland style murder associated with notorious drugs and mafia cartels in South America and other crime infested societies.
Sources claimed that the felled bank manager was at the centre of bitter disagreement over a Sh30 million insurance scandal at the county that had sparked off a major crisis in the county government and led to the sacking of the immediate former speaker to the county assembly. The deceased was quickly replaced by another from the same area in what appears to be a negotiated deal to revive the insurance scandal.
 Reports have it that, though the speaker and the bank manager paid dearly for the insurance scandal, the  big fish behind it and who should have been made to answer are the governor himself and his favourite daughter, Emily who is said to have interests in the insurance company.
Fully converted and let loose to propel the embezzlement spree, county ministers are excelling in the looting.
The housing minister who is governor’s close relative recently allegedly forged documents for Sh3 million for a non-existent seminar and pocketed the loot. He also cooked financial documents for Sh5 million for renovation of a non-existent house in Keroka township and pocketed, it is claimed.
The public works minister a one Osoro has allegedly perfected the art of cooking bills of quantities for projects. In many instances he has allegedly produced multiple BQs for same projects to facilitate duplicate payments. Most of the payments are also inflated. He is the architect of an arrangement for siphoning money using cooking of documents to facilitate payments for already complete and paid-for buildings, most which were completed by the former Nyamira county council, sources claim. A notable such project is Gianchore Health Centre, which by the time of taking over was 60pc complete and only required Sh300,000 to finish. But he reportedly documented it as a new project and had the county government paid Sh3.9 million. It is said he tarmacked 100 metres including a packing yard at the governor’s residence and paid an overly inflated figure of Sh5 million for it.
Other projects under Osoro that have been used like Gionchore and were inherited from Latf including Bogwendo Dispensary whcih was 90pc complete, Nyantaro Secondary School (70pc) , Kegogi Dispensary (50pc), Nyaiguta Dispensary (85pc), Magongo Youth Polytechnic (60pc) , Riakimai Health Centre (80pc) , Kiang’inda Health Centre (10pc), Esiagi Dispensary and Maternity (90pc), Nyaige Dispensary (65pc)  and Eturungi Dispensary (60pc). All of them were received at handing over from the former Local Authorities at the indicated stages of construction but Osoro’s office allegedly showed they are new projects being built from scratch and also inflated the costs which they would move and complete and the extra money needed.
Recently the Nyamira fishing department was buying fingerlings worth Sh15 million but the money was stolen using fake documents before payments were issued to the suppliers. The officer in charge, a Mr Ruto, did not complain.
The governor’s chief of staff, a one Ongaga who has joined the corruption regime and today conditions contractors to pay bribes, if not they lose out, it is claimed.
Employment at the county is slanted in favour of close immediate family relatives of the governor and close senior officials, residents claim. Members of Nyagarama’s wider clan are bitter as they have been sidelined in jobs while he lavishes only a section and relatives of the owners of the Deluxe Bus.
 The county officer in charge of finances Phillip Machuki, it is said, is not qualified for his demanding job. He is closely helped by the county planning officer Onyango who always manipulates him.
They are preferred for their willingness to facilitate fraudulent payments and operationalising forged financial documents. Onyango is said to be the link to the senior officer in Nairobi who helps in facilitating payments, by allegedly writing permission letters, for ghost seminars.
In the medical services sector the Nyamira medical superintendent Dr Basweti opted to quit as he resisted pressure to endorse and sign a fraudulent deal to purchase and install obsolete and untested equipment.
The most glaring case was for a CT-Scan machine at an inflated cost of Sh43 million. It was procured outside the rules and regulations and he questioned and objected. He resigned but they purported to sack him. He is bitter and to date he is yet to hand over.
Between August and October, Sh20 million was embezzled and allegedly the governor’s share from the bank was picked in cash and taken to his house by the driver of the public works executive driver  by name Akama in the official car GK 881J.

Claims Kiambu speaker bribed in Kabogo ouster bid

Kiambu Speaker Gathii Irungu is under pressure following allegations from MCAs from the Kiambu county assembly that he has been blocking an impeachment motion of Kiambu governor William Kabogo from being debated after being bribed.
It is claimed the speaker and a section in the assembly were offered Sh5 million to scuttle the impeachment process.
Last week, the High Court gave Irungu a 14-day ultimatum to respond to a petition in which he is being accused of shielding Kabogo from impeachment. However, Irungu who is also known to be a close ally to Kabogo has laughed off the allegation but has also told High Court judge George Odunga that he had not responded to the application as he was away in Tanzania.
Limuru Central ward rep Joseph Murugami went to court seeking an order against Irungu’s decision after he declined to table the motion in the assembly.
At the same time, Murugami has been granted leave to file a substantive application within 14 days. The judge directed the parties to adhere to the court’s time lines, saying there will be no extension.
Murugami accused Irungu of scuttling the motion on December 3 when he failed to issue a notice of seven days to impeach the governor. The speaker is reported to have dismissed the application at the last minute yet the motion is reported to have received the backing of 30 MCAs and was approved by himself.
The war that is being fought between Kabogo and the MCAs is as a result of Kabogo’s refusal to move the county office to the designated headquarters in Kiambu town.
The governor is further accused of failing to appear before the Senate to respond to audit queries raised by the auditor general over the misuse of public funds.

Reps say Nakuru health exec has professional question marks

Discontent is rife in the Nakuru county’s executives and other senior employees over the appointment and subsequent swearing- in of their county health minister.
This was after the appointment of Daniel Mungai as the county health minister that brought into sharp focus the capacity of the Nakuru county’s appointing and vetting authorities.
Some of Mungai’s fellow executives and senior officers at the county’s offices are agitated that his experience and integrity is questionable and that he should not have landed the portfolio.
Early September, the local county assembly adopted a report by the vetting and appointment committee that cleared Mungai amid uproar over integrity issues.
Prior to the adoption of the report and his subsequent swearing in, an MCA had alleged that Mungai had at one time deserted duty while working at the Embu Provincial General Hospital prompting then Medical Services ministry to withhold his salary.
Documents were tabled before the vetting and appointment committee and later on the floor of the house where questions arose over his suitability to serve in the crucial docket due to his previous employment record.
Three letters dated April 22, May 24 and July 3 2013 showed Mungai had been suspended from duty on account of desertion and his salary stopped.
The May 24 letter written by a Nahashon Thiong’o for then PS Medical Services to Mungai stated that he deserted duty at Machakos District Hospital without permission or reasonable cause.
Another letter dated April 22 by JW Thuku for then provincial director of Medical Services, Eastern province showed that his salary had been stopped over the same reasons.
According to records of the proceedings of the vetting and appointment committee of Nakuru county assembly, the issue was raised by a member but the chair of the panel dismissed it on grounds that the petition was not formally presented before the assembly.
During the special sitting of the assembly that unanimously approved the appointment of Mungai, the issue was raised again by the Olkaria ward MCA Peter Pallanga but was ignored by members.
But when contacted, Mungai said he has what it takes to be a county executive as stipulated by the rules guiding counties affairs in the country.
Mungai’s appointment came after the county’s health docket remained vacant for a long time since the inception of the county.


Test for Kalonzo as Makueni faces mini general election

Senior political players in Ukambani are burning midnight oil to broker truce between Makueni governor  Kivutha Kibwana and members of county assembly even as it emerges that the county is headed for dissolution as surely as night follows day. The onus now is in the hands of president Uhuru Kenyatta to form a committee to look into issues raised by voters in the county. The IEBC finalised verification of more than 50,000 petitioners giving the list a clean bill of health. The governor is leading county residents in asking the president to dissolve the county which has been marred by wrangles since its inception with the governor surviving two impeachment attempts. The MCAs majority elected on Wiper ticket have paralysed the county operations by refusing to pass key county laws including budgets which has led to the standoff.
The governor elected on  Muungano party ticket has only seven MCAs against Wiper which has 34 MCAs. The MCAs have openly defied Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka in their attempts to impeach the governor joining their counterparts in Machakos county who also rebelled against Kalonzo and went ahead and impeached their deputy governor Bernard Kiala. In fear of being seen as losing clout in his own party Kalonzo who jetted back from South Africa convened party top organ NEC where he prevailed over the meeting to de-whip Machakos leader of majority Joshua Mwonga and his Makueni counterpart Francis Mutuku.
Makueni voters who presented the petition at Harambee House flocked the capital city with more than 50 hired buses from every ward and presented the petition. The same day Kalonzo was also  holding a crisis meeting at his office along Ngong Road with MPs and senator from the county. The governor was absent after he learnt that Kalonzo wanted to pursue reconciliation route which he was opposed to.
During the meeting it was resolved that Kalonzo together with the leader hold public rallies in the county to plead with the voters and allow room for reconciliation. They were to address rallies in towns and end with a final meeting at Unoa grounds in Wote town. They were also to be accompanied by the Wiper MCAs who would apologise to the governor. The planned rallies were shelved when Kalonzo saw on TV how  voters had flooded the city calling for the dissolution. He was also briefed how the ground was hostile to him and his MCAs and in fear of humiliation cancelled the tour. Addressing voters is absence of their governor was an uphill task for Kalonzo in a county was he has enjoyed massive support.
Those versed with Ukambani politics say Kalonzo is keen to stamp authority in the county after facing stiff rebellion in the neighbouring Machakos county to a group of MPs opposed to his leadership and now tilting towards Jubilee administration. But observers say if the county government is dissolved Kalonzo himself will be the biggest casualty considering that the ground is too angry with his MCAs and likelihood that Muungano will reap big in the polls is high. If dissolved locals say they will overwhelmingly vote Kibwana back but will send packing all MCAs in the county together with their speakers Stephen Ngelu. Ngelu whom Kibwana has accused for the standoff defeated Kibwana’s man during speaker’s election to clinch the post. He is alleged to have bribed MCAs for the vote. He contested Kibwezi East parliamentary seat on a URP ticket but lost to Wiper’s Jessica Mbalu.
On knowing that their fate is sealed the MCAs have sent apologies to the governor to end the stalemate in vain with the law professor standing firm towards  dissolution. The assembly accounts have been frozen by the county treasury leaving the MCAs dry approaching election. Local banks which financed their Sh2 million car loans have so far written letters to all MCAs demanding them to clear loan arrears with information that the banks have engaged auctioneers to sell their cars. The move has complicated matters for the leaders who are now seen engaging with elders from the county said to be close to the governor to salvage their political careers. MPs who had earlier met in Mombasa with the MCAs to plot Kibwana’s impeachment have backtracked and are now silently backing dissolution in fear of being sidelined. They include Regina Ndambuki (Kilome) Kisoi Munyao (Mbooni), Daniel Maanzo (Makueni), Mbalu (Kibwezi East), Richard Makenga (Kaiti), Patrick Musimba (Kibwezi West), Rose Museo (women rep) and Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior.

Sunday 14 December 2014


Solo among more than 100 ambassadors and high commissioners accredited to Kenya, United States envoy Robert Godec went out of his way to write an opinion-editorial piece on the occasion of Kenya’s 51st Independence celebrations that was run in all newspapers.
Diplomacy analysts read a great deal into the gesture, including the British High Commission, Kenya’s former colonial masters. The message which had the full blessing of Washington is seen as a change of policy from the much publicised veiled threat that choices have consequences which was propagated by Johnny Carson, then state secretary for African Affairs.  The US ambassador to Kenya then was Gration Scott.
Impeccable sources informed Weekly Citizen that the piece was quietly crafted, discussed and analysed in many foras including the Chinese embassy, British, German and Japanese.
Foreign spies disguised as political attachés came to one conclusion: that President Barrack Hussein Obama is preparing to come back home to the land of his father, while still flying both the American presidential flag and Old Glory, as the US national flag is referred to. “He has been saying that he is coming and this has been attested by the grandmother Mama Sarah,” a family source said.
Washington foreign policy towards Nairobi is thus bound to change dramatically as analysts forecast a major paradigm shift in its policy towards Kenya.
Before the general elections last year in which Jubilee coalition under its flagbearer, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, the duo facing crimes against humanity following the 2007-2008 post-election violence, carried teh day, the US tone bordered towards Uhuruto candidature bordered the hostile.
Once the duo won though, America and the West had no option but to swallow their pride and work with what Kenyans gave them. That Kenyans did not heed West to reject Uhuru seems to have worked advantageously for Uhuru. It is said that the West had preferred Raila Odinga and it is against the backcloth of a Raila presidency that Obama was planning his grand return to the land of his forefathers. It is to be recalled that Obama while on a tour of Tanzania said that he would like to come to Kenya but the matter of ICC was preventing him.
It is not idle talk therefore that which suggests that the American president being the actual power that controls  the ICC might have pulled strings to untie the noose from round Uhuru’s neck. Had Obama waited for Raila or any other but Uhuru to be president so as to visit, those of this view say, he would not himself be president of America by then which would have no impact on Kenyans, and which he does not want.
The withdrawal of Uhuru’s crimes against humanity charges at the ICC at The Hague is therefore to be seen in light of this. It finally opened the way for Obama to come and visit his late father’s ancestral land when his paternal grandmother is still alive.
Diplomacy and security analysts on the diplomatic circuit in Nairobi are well aware that Obama is in a world of trouble inside America. Now, in his late second term (he must vacate the White House by January 20 2016), Obama’s popularity ratings are at their lowest ebb. Obama’s is so ineffectual that it qualifies to be referred to as paraplegic, or even wheelchair-bound lame duck.
Things are so bad for Obama that there is talk of race war as white policemen continue to shoot unarmed black men, including teenagers and children, dead and to get away scotfree.
Obama has only one last card to play - the homecoming  safari to Kenya. It is a very iconic card, full of symbolism and positive propaganda elements laced with it.
Reliable protocol sources say that an American-Kenyan committee is already at work behind the scenes planning what is going to be the longest and most dramatic visit to Africa of the Obama presidency.
The highlights of Obama’s homecoming tour are being kept a closed secret for security reasons.
Obama’s homecoming safari will be on the front pages of leading newspapers and magazines and on TV and computer screens of at least two billion people worldwide, like a World Cup final.
Analysts have quietly agreed that in order for the Obama Safari to happen, Uhuru had to be a free man without the albatross from The Hague around his neck. The son of Jomo Kenyatta, who will still be president after Obama, has left the White House, will be  playing host to the most powerful man on earth at a critical juncture in his own life.
The Obama Safari will be taking place at a time of high insecurity in Kenya, but the country will be in total lockdown by the security forces of the world’s lone superpower. In fact, US security for the visit will be so tight that Kenya’s security forces can take the much-needed leave while Obama is in town and country.
Signs of the changing times were evident on Friday, December 12 during the Jamhuri Day celebrations, when the opposition led by Raila Odinga and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula, made good use of their invitation cards and actually attended the fete, not only the parade at Nyayo Stadium, but also the State House Garden party after being invited impromptu infront of cameras.
The Obama Safari is going to be such a big deal in town that no one wants to be given a protocol snub by being left out or having his region demarcated.
Obama’s homecoming will be designed to make Africans forget China’s forays into the region. How will Obama’s homecoming impact Kenya’s domestic deeply divided politics? Keynote speeches in Kenya will be keenly and deeply analysed.
As for Raila, who claims both a “special relationship” and   “cousinship” with Obama, he might be shocked to find that Uhuru is now playing the West’s game so totally that Washington might actually wish him a second and final legacy term - and work towards it. Raila and his handlers will want to stage a protocol coup when Obama is in town.
 Obama’s language and attitudes - including body language - will be closely watched, monitored interpreted and translated, so politically to speak.
This new happenings comes as an estimated 125 US companies are headquartered in Nairobi. They are internet service  Google, energy and technological infrastructure conglomerate General Electric,  Coca Cola, General Motors, Bretton Woods  institutes  (International Monetary Fund and World Bank) and technology  infrastructure titan IBM.
Others are insurer AIG, business investment firm Stratlink Global, the Rockefeller Foundation, environmental sustainability consultant First Carbon Solutions, Ford Foundation and internet-based micro financier Kiva Microfunds.
Nairobi is the home of a number of US giants in sub-Saharan Africa, operations such as card maker Visa Inc., wireless telecoms product maker Qualcomm, Motorola Solutions and Hill International. Citibank, Cisco Systems, Intel Corporation, Mastercard and Pfizer that use Kenyan capital as their hub to penetrate the East and Central Africa market.


After attempts to inherit the office left vacant by fallen Otieno Kajwang flaundered, Cord leader Raila Odinga is faced with yet another political stumbling block to jump over.
Luo elders and MPs who were behind the move are now targeting Raila’s brother nominated MP Oburu Odinga to step down and resign for Raila.
Among the MPs who supported Raila’s candidature for the Homa Bay senatorial seat were Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay Town), Omondi Anyanga (Nyatike), James Rege (Rachuonyo), Shakir Shabeer (Kisumu Town East) and Nicholas Gumbo (Rarieda) among others.
This would not be the first time such a scenario is being witnessed in Kenyan political arena. Mark Too, former President Moi’s kitchen cabinet pointman  was forced to resign from his nominated seat in parliament to create vacancy for Uhuru Kenyatta. Too was the architect of the Kanu-NDP partnership but it seems his usefulness in Kanu was over and was made to hang his political boots.
Initially, the plan was to have Raila succeed the late Kajwang’, an idea Raila had secretly entertained but changed at the last minute after Kenyans expressed unkind sentiments some saying it portrayed Raila as power hungry and desperate.  
Sources say that although majority of the Odinga family supported the move, it was Raila’s wife, Ida, who stood her ground and told Raila to bin the idea. Ida is said to have told Raila that a number of Homa Bay politicians are not for the idea and they could gang up to humiliate him at the ballot.
Pressure is now piling on Oburu to resign to pave way for Raila to enter national assembly as a late reporter. Those pushing for this say that Oburu should take time off from politics to allow his brother get fully involved in national politics. Oburu has always been a sidekick of his younger brother.
It is being rumoured that should Oburu accept to step down for Raila, he will be the ODM automatic candidate for the Siaya gubernatorial seat in 2017. It is being whispered that there have been attempts by Siaya leaders to reconcile Oburu and his sworn political enemy William Oduol ahead of 2017 elections. The game plan is to have Oburu run for governor with Oduol as running his mate.
It is not only Raila who is working on modalities of returning to parliament. Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka is also said to be working on a plot to go back to parliament but his scheme is seen a bit brutish. Wiper is in court to revoke the nomination of MP Bishop Robert Mutemi who is disabled and replace him with Kalonzo.
Wiper operatives are said to be behind the court case filed seeking the ouster of Mutemi whose nomination, they say, was a mistake that Wiper seeks to revoke. Party sources say according to Wiper records, Mutemi has never been a member of Wiper since its formation. Mutemi says he will prove that he is a Wiper member and accuses Kalonzo of wanting the seat of a disabled. At one time even before the court case, Mutemi on getting wind a plot was underfoot to snatch his nomination and give it to Kalonzo told Kalonzo to have a leg cut so that he can become a deserving case because Mutemi was nominated to represent the physically disabled
For the minority leader in parliament, now that both Nyenze and Kalonzo are both Wiper MPs, it is not known if Nyenze will step down for his party leader.
Cord politicians have been arguing that by Raila and Kalonzo being outside parliament, things have failed to work out in both houses and that it’s time they participated actively in parliamentary affairs to ensure a robust opposition in both houses.
But one school of thought has it that it would appear as if Raila and Kalonzo are too desperate, should they accept the nominations. Whereas one camp is comfortable with the two leaders accepting the nomination, a group of MPs from Cord affiliates are not for the idea.


The US-Kenya Partnership in the 21st Century
By Robert F Godec, the US Ambassador to Kenya
December 8 2014 Op-ed
As Kenya nears its 51st Jamhuri Day, Kenyans have much to celebrate.  In recent years, Kenya has been on the move.  Manufacturing and retail are expanding, and the country has a vibrant telecommunications market. Kenya is building infrastructure, and more Kenyans have access to education and health care.  Kenyans enjoy the benefits of a progressive constitution.   But, Kenya also faces challenges, including improving security, creating jobs, and strengthening governance. As a friend and partner since independence, the United States has stood with Kenya.  We continue to do so now.  We have achieved much together, but there are opportunities for us to deepen our friendship.  In August, President Obama hosted the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington.  His message was clear: the United States wants a new model of partnership with Africa.  A partnership of equals.  A partnership based on shared values and interests, and on mutual respect.  That is our goal in Africa and it is our goal in Kenya. 
Kenya is a leader in the region and what we do now with our partnership will have far-reaching effects.  Looking ahead, three areas of cooperation will be particularly important: security, trade and investment, and governing for the future.
Security is vital for both Kenya and the United States.  Americans understand and deeply appreciate the sacrifices Kenyans are making to restore peace and stability in Somalia.  Kenya is a front-line state in the war against al-Shabaab.  The atrocities and crimes carried out by this terrorist organization, most recently in Mandera, make clear that we must continue to work together to defeat it and end the threat of violent extremism.  Unless we do so, there will be no security for Kenya or East Africa. 
As Kenya works to strengthen security, it can draw lessons from the successes – and failures – in the United States and elsewhere.  These include the importance of security services that are effective in gathering information, cooperating across agency lines, and carrying out operations with respect for the rule of law and human rights.  Leaders must work for national unity and citizens must be informed and involved.  Most importantly, al-Shabaab cannot be allowed to stoke religious war or tribal conflict.  Kenyans of all faiths and ethnicities must reach out to one another and build bridges of trust and respect.
To help Kenya’s security services, the United States provides extensive information and billions of shillings in training and equipment.  Through our new Security Governance Initiative and other programs, we are working to expand our cooperation.  Be assured: you are not alone.  The United States stands with Kenya in the fight against terrorism and insecurity.
American trade and investment in Kenya are growing quickly.  U.S. companies have created tens of thousands of jobs here.  They are looking for new opportunities to invest and are making commitments.  Recently, we supported the financing of the 310 MW Lake Turkana Wind Power Project – the largest wind power project on the continent.  Through Power Africa, we are backing additional projects to help meet Kenya’s ambitious power goals. 
In November, I launched a new East African Trade and Investment Hub in Nairobi with a commitment of 5.8 billion shillings.  Two U.S. trade delegations have visited Kenya recently and there are plans for more.  We are working to extend the African Growth and Opportunity Act, or AGOA, under which Kenyan companies are rapidly expanding exports to the United States.  As Kenya looks to create jobs, it will need to take further steps to tackle corruption, simplify business regulation, build infrastructure, and create a regional common market.  We are working with Kenya in each of these areas and are prepared to provide further support.     
Finally, the United States is committed to deepening our partnership with Kenya on governing for the future.  With its new constitution, Kenya began an extraordinary project to reinvent government.  Settling crucial questions regarding Kenya’s new political institutions will take years.  It is a difficult process – one Americans know well from our own experience with devolved power – but historians will see this as a time of momentous change.   
As Kenya answers questions about devolution, it also has the opportunity to find new ways to reduce ethnic conflict, build confidence in institutions, and address long-standing grievances including those around land.  A free media and strong civil society will help Kenya in these efforts.  A free media is a cornerstone of democracy, promotes vibrant debate, and helps ensure good governance.  Similarly, civil society, when it has the space to pursue its essential work, builds a better country.  As in the United States, Kenyan civil society groups provide health care to families, feed children, protect wildlife, and give a voice to the voiceless.  Civil society is free people solving problems.  We should join hands with them.    
In the 21st century, the United States will continue to be a strong partner to Kenya, just as President Obama has promised.  And our partnership will be based on equality, respect, and dialogue.  Pamoja tusonge mbele.  Happy birthday, Kenya.  


The Constitution of of Kenya 2010 Article 196 (1) (b) demands public participation and involvement in the legislative and other business of the national assembly and its committees. The Public Finance Management Act Sec 125 (2) demands that the County Executive Committee must ensure that there is public participation in the entire budget process. Furthermore, the Public Finance Management Act Sec 137 demands formation of the County Budget and Economic Forum consisting of the governor, the County Executive Committee and members of the civil society.
In exercising this right as enshrined in the constitution, Wajir Anti-Corruption and Justice Forum sought to actively engage in the planning and management of the Wajir county public resources and service delivery by the Wajir county.
In its efforts to ensure efficacy in the budgeting and budgeting  processes, the forum resolved to engage the  services of a professional in budgeting and finance to assist them in analysing understand and critically evaluating the 2014/15 Wajir County Budget as presented to the county assembly and senate. It is widely alleged the last budget was literally looted.
In conducting the analysis, the consultant had a free hand to assess various relevant aspects of the budget but inter alia: Establish if the budget is in line with the Wajir County Fiscal Strategy Paper -if there is one in place, establish if the Wajir County Budget is in line and compliance with the Public Finance Management Act (2012)estimate the viability or otherwise of Wajir county 2014/15 budget as currently constituted and presented and approved by the country assembly and make recommendations to address issues (if any) identified to align the budget to the expectations and benefit of the people of Wajir county.
In doing the review, the main document was the Wajir County 2014/15 Budget as presented by the Wajir Anti-Corruption and Justice Forum. Two versions of the budget were availed two weeks apart– an initial budget and a revised version which Wajuf confirmed had been passed by the county assembly and presented to the senate.
Their scope of work was limited by lack of access to or non-existence of the following critical documents: Wajir county 2013/14 budget – this critical document is not available to the public either at the Wajir county official website or county offices as confirmed by Wajuf. Wajir County Fiscal Strategy Paper for the two years 2013/14 and 2014/15: to the best of information obtained this critical and legally required document is not in existence – it is not clear to us how was the budget developed without the CFSP. Budget narratives:  “Budgets are about making the best choices in allocating the scarce resources available to the county to meet the multitude of competing priorities. A good budget therefore must contain budget narratives that explain the choices that the county has made. Without this, we have made our assessment based on good practice and general information on budgeting and public information on Wajir county status needs and priorities as well as comparatives with other counties and national government,” says the report.
In making the assessment the consultant addressed the structuring of the analysis to critically address, rationale for the budget, alignment of the budget to the county priorities, alignment to the CRSP, compliance with the law – budget financing – deficit and incorporation of county revenues into the budget, maintaining/improving level essential services–equity in distribution of resources among the wards–disclosure and amounts versus need/priority and development/sustainability potential of each ward and separation of county responsibilities from national responsibilities –disclosure and in of expected revenues and allocation from national government, devolution etc.
In making their assessment, besides the professional, technical and general research and review, the consultant also made extensive reference to: -constitution of Kenya (2010) relevant chapters and acts, public finance management Act  (2012), report of the controller of budget for Wajir county  (and review of other counties for balance) and report of the Wajir Anti-Corruption and Justice Forum to the EACC.
The consultant observed glaring loopholes on the Wajir county budget for the year 2014-2015. It observed that the Wajir county budget does not have a narrative to explain the choices made in the budget in all the budget lines.
The roads and public works department, trade, industrialisation, co-operative department, public health department and others. It is necessary to have a narrative in the budget that explains the choices made in coming up with the budget lines. It is not possible to know what activities and expenses are envisioned in the budget lines which makes impossible to check whether the activities included are valid for this budget, check whether the amounts indicated are reasonable, check whether the activities represented present a fair distribution of resources within the county and check whether the totals of the budget line were correctly calculated.
The budget must have a detailed narrative indicating the activities and expenses envisioned for each budget line. This will encourage public participation and honour the accountability and transparency requirements of this budget. It is necessary to have a plan for the county from which the budget is produced. Adequate narration is necessary in the budget to show how the budget correlates with the plan. In the present scenario we are not sure if such a plan exists. According to the lobby, the budget must be produced with reference to the county plan. If no plan exists then one should first be produced and used as a source of guidance for the budget.
The budget does not have a clear priority target for in the budget. It was observed that the areas of high expenditure include roads and public works (1,565m or 22pc), public health (1,514M or 21pc) and water resources at (802m or 12pc). As mentioned in the general information above the current rain conditions do not favour farming. Self sustenance in farming is a major goal for the country and the same should feature prominently in the county plan and in this budget. The budget for agriculture (Sh568m) nearly equals the same for executive (Sh539). In our view the agricultural sector has not been given adequate priority. It is worth mentioning here that the agriculture and water departments are capital intensive and adequate funds would be necessary to make a difference.
The consultant wants adequate research done with the incorporation of public participation to ensure that areas of highest priority receive adequate funds. The budget shows various capital expenditures but does not mention where these expenditures will be. These include construction of ABT centres in the lands department and production of physical plans for three sub counties in the same department. The consultant wants that all plans for the county be done with fair distribution of the resources to the various districts in mind. The same should be documented in the budget.
The budget does not show comparison figures from the previous year. It was observed that various expenses and capital purchases were effected in the previous year, but none of these have been referenced in the current budget. That all budgets should have comparative figures which give a guideline on the expected expenditures for the current budget. This will also link the capital expenditures from the previous year which may not have been completed.
The budget does not show the amounts which may be collected by the county in form of local taxes and fees. It was observed that the budget does not mention any amounts that will be collected in this current year in form of taxes and fees. No mention is made on how much was collected in the previous year. This is contrary to the public finance management Act 130(1)(b)(iv). It is also worth noting that the Wajir county budget implementation report for January to March 2013 does show Sh9.3m as revenue for the four months in question which shows that it is a significant budget item. (WCBIR Mar – June 2.3). Budgets should have an indication of the amounts the county government expects to raise as their contribution to the budget.
The budget does not show how the county government expects to fund the resultant deficit. The budget shows an expected appropriation from the government of Sh6,278,070,000. The total budget is Sh7,100,794,284. There is a resultant deficit of about Sh823m. There is no information in the budget to show how this deficit will be funded. In the budget for the previous period, Wajir county did not show the amounts it intended to get from the national government and its local sources in the budget. (Kenya Budget Analysis: Wajir county No 6). This is a critical requirement that has been neglected in the current budget as well. Wajir residents want a proper balancing of the budget be done showing how all the expenditures will be funded.
The budget does not consistently have unit costs. It was observed that some of the departmental budgets have unit costs included (town administration offices) while no other department had this. Information on the unit costs in important as it confirms the prudence in the figures as to market values and overstatements are concerned. The consultant group wants all the departmental budgets to have a unit costs section filled out to show the units purchased.
The budget does not consistently have estimates for the next three years as is required. It was observed that most of the departmental budgets do not have Estimates for the next three years (town administration offices, ministry of agriculture, roads and public works and others). Information on the next three years budget estimates helps in ensuring the budget is rational and helps in preparing the next years budgets. Departmental budgets should have three-year estimates.
The budget shows a duplication of expenditure estimates in the financial management department and the county executive department.
The duplication shown above lacks explanation. The items in question are service centres that should be housed in one department. It beats logic to have multiple source centres for these expenditures. The combined total estimates for these items, looks excessive. It is important to have narrations especially when such anomalies appear in the budget. Such lack of narration provides room for corruption.
A clear explanation needs to be given for this anomaly and a rethink on the amounts budgeted so as to show a more realistic budget. These amounts and other activities which are of this nature should be budgeted under one department. The budget does not give a clear distinction between the roles of the government and those of the county. It was observed that Wajir town activities should be central government functions, that a clear distinction be made between county functions and government functions and enough narration be included where there is overlap of functions.
The budget does not give a clear distinction between the roles of the government and those of the county. It was observed that Wajir town activities should be central government functions. The consultant wants a clear distinction be made between county functions and government functions and enough narration be included where there is overlap of functions.
The departmental budget for the county finance and planning does include three years estimates. These estimates however show a 10pc increment in the budget for all the recurrent items. It is totally unrealistic to assume a 10pc increase in the very varied expenses in the budget. The items include purchases of workshop tools, furniture and equipment. These items are one off expenses where we do not expect recurrent purchases at a uniform 10pc increment.
The consultant wants care taken to include in the budget accurate figures with assumptions that are well thought out and researched.  Again an inclusion of narratives would have helped to show whether the assumptions implied are valid. Also the budget does not have a budget policy statement. The PFMA 2012 requires the county budget to include a summary that contains the budget summary. This is an important statement as it gives the budget an anchor for the choices made in the budget. The consultant wants the budget to include a summary with the required details to justify the choices made in the planning process.
The lack of comparatives from previous period and information on the steps taken to improve the current year budget are critical. Items like the tarmacking of Wajir town appear on both budgets with no update on implementation. The issues raised in the previous budget and on its implementation, there is no clear change in the process of budget making.
In its current state this budget can be a vehicle for misappropriations. Without the narratives that guide expenditure many expenses can be included in implementation that were not envisaged during the planning of the budget.Wajir country has not addressed the identified lack of capacity to prepare a coherent comprehensive budget (Controller of Budget Wajir County Budget Implementation Report March – June 2013). This lack of capacity still exists and is demonstrated by the fact that there was a recommendation that there needs to be professionalism in the budgeting process with concerted public participation and accuracy, consistency and compliancy by the setting up of an internal efficiency monitoring framework and evaluation. (WCBIR March – June 3.6 (3)). Lack of consistency in the current budget with different formats for the various departments which do not meet the requirements of this budget. Agriculture, public works and water resource are all different from each other. 
“We cannot tell if the designated information system is in place as no evidence of its output is evident. Again the report (WCBIR March – June 3.6 (2) did recommend making the IFMIS operational. The county budget is a key tool for the distribution of funds to the Wajir residents in an equitable, transparent and accountable manner. This needs to be evident in its production, implementation and reporting functions. At the moment this is not evident,” says the report.
Based on the above observations and facts, the Wajir county budget as currently constituted is not and cannot be recommended for implementation. The lobby wants the budget recalled and a competent expert engaged to support the country in reviewing and revising the budget to address the identified gaps and the public to be involved in the process in line with the constitution and public finance management Act (2012). There is no public participation in Wajir county affairs. The budget and tenders are all fixed in Nairobi hotels. Wajir residents are shocked as to how the government can allow these kind of fraudulent budget to find its way and passed without scrutiny.
Wajir resident are querring how the controller of budget and the senate passed such kind of a budget with glaring fraudulent discrepancies that cannot be implemented. This is part of the evidence we are going to present to the senate in support of the petition currently before the senate,” said  Abikar who is the chair of Wajuf.
The lobby has been fighting corruption in the county by presenting the grievances of the residents to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and other oversight government agencies. A petition to the president has been filed with the senate. EACC investigation into the affairs of Wajir county is in top gear. The lobby group is working on the 2013/14 budget analysis and already theft through budget lines close to Sh500m has been discovered. Over Sh1b is separately believed to have been looted through single sourcing, price inflation, dubious allowances and general malpractices. A further Sh500m is also believed to have been lost through short changing of specification after the award of tenders to companies associated to the governor campaign financiers. Wajir residents are concerned that the county is not functioning. Out of the 700 days since the inception of county government, Wajir governor is said to have in the county less than 98 days, He is said to be busy either in Nairobi making deals, fixing tender awards, to allegedly conceal corruption cases or busy buying properties.