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Citizen Weekly

Monday 29 September 2014


A man attacked former PM Raila Odinga and Kwale Governor while the two were dancing on the podium at a CORD rally in Kinango. The man whose motive of the attack was not immediately made clear, caned the former PM twice and went further to attack the governor before he was floored by the County’s  Communication boss.

While the area OCPD claim that the man didn’t assault Raila but was dancing a traditional dance where participants cane each other, sources within the former PM’s security believe that the man meant to harm Raila.
Raila immediately ordered that the man be released as he has forgiven him. The function was attended by Senators Juma Boy, Hassan Omar, Agnes Zani, James Orengo, Johnson Muthama and MP Hassan Mwanyoa.
A section of Coast MPs led by Kilifi North MP Gideon Mung’aro, Malindi MP Dan Kazungu, Kilifi Woman Representative Aisha Jumwa, Ganze MP Peter Shehe and Kilifi South Mustafa Idd  have been insulting Raila and the Okoa Kenya team in various rallies but no action has ever been taken on them.

Sunday 28 September 2014


Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka who is facing rebellion in his hometurf is reportedly set to embark on a mission to galvanise his Kamba vote bloc ahead of what is said to be an earthshaking deal with Jubilee. Those in the know say that for some time now, Kalonzo has been making overtures to Uhuru Kenyatta with a view to be incorporated in the government.

Kalonzo’s Okoa Kenya movement which he is pushing with Raila Odinga and Moses Wetang’ula is facing stiff resistance in Ukambani and it is this hardship that Jubilee is reportedly keen to capitalise on.

Even without the referendum hitches Kalonzo is facing,  Jubilee has been working on a scheme to whittle Kalonzo’s influence in Ukambani and then dangle a carrot in the shape of a plum government position. It is said Kalonzo will for starters replace Dalmas Otieno as Uhuru’s special envoy in the Great Lakes region that also brings on board Southern Sudan as warm up to bigger things. Kalonzo has served as a Foreign Affairs minister and it is understood he has been secretly pining for a call from State House appointing him an ambassador. He is the consul of Government of Cyprus in Nairobi.

To further compromise Kalonzo into playing ball, Jubilee wants to fast track a Bill that proposes sumptuous retirement benefits for Raila and Kalonzo. The former prime minister and former vice president will be entitled to monthly pensions equal to 80pc of their last monthly salary in office. The offer is too good to resist to even Raila who unlike Kalonzo has become extremely wealthy ever since he was himself compromised by Daniel Moi and made minister of Energy in the dying years of Kanu.

According to the Retirement Benefits Bill envisaged, Raila and Kalonzo will get Sh800,000 each month, in addition to two saloon cars of not more than 2,000cc each. Each of the former leaders will also be entitled to a four-wheel-drive vehicle of not more than 3,000cc, with 15pc of their former monthly salaries as fuel allowance.

Some MPs have been against it and have made a number of proposed amendments to reduce the packages, which they term as luxury. Others wanted to allow Raila and Kalonzo to continue being active in politics even as the state continues to provide them with retirement benefits.
Suba MP John Mbadi had protested the move by the Budget and Appropriations Committee to insert a clause which indicates that for anyone to benefit, that person should not engage in elective politics.

The Bill provides pension and other retirement benefits to the persons who hold the offices of deputy president and designated state offices upon their ceasing to hold office.
In 2012, then President Mwai Kibaki rejected a Bill that MPs passed allowing for provision of retirement benefits of deputy president and other designated state officers.

Currently, there is no provision in law on how to provide for retirement benefits of the offices of the speakers and other state officers such as the Chief Justice. Mbadi pushed to include former VP Moody Awori and Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, who retires in three years.

The Bill proposes that the government gives a lumpsum payment on retirement to speakers at the end of their term. This is a sum equal to one-and-a-half  years’ salary paid for each term in office.

The speakers will also be given a saloon car of not more than 2,000cc and a four-wheel-drive of not more than 3,000cc.
It is imperative to note that a  section of MPs from the Jubilee side have not been comfortable with the Bill arguing that Odinga and Kalonzo are yet to retire and have publicly declared interest to vie again.

It is however doubtful that Kalonzo would make an impact as either presidential candidate or running mate given his loosening grip of Kambas. Although his main nemesis since Moi days Charity Ngilu is a cabinet secretary under Uhuru, the emergence of young and vibrant MPs pushing for his exit from politics is giving the Tseikuru- born politician sleepless nights. The MPs, Francis Mwangangi, Vincent Musyoka, Benson Mbai, Victor Munyaka and John Munuve want Kalonzo have not been giving Kalonzo the breathing space.

 Although the MPs such as Mwangangi and Munyaka had been Kalonzo diehard defenders in the runup to the last elections, they were denied the Wiper nomination ticket after trouncing Kalonzo’s preferred men Charles Kilonzo and Urban Mutisya respectively only to defect and repeat the fete in polls proper. Mwangangi ran on Muungano and Munyaka on CCU. Mbai was also denied the ticket after thrashing Kalonzo’s favourite.

He jumped ship to Ford P and carried the day. Others like Musyoka of CCU have never had anything to do with Wiper. It is against this background that it is seen as delusional Kalonzo’s now tired refrain that MPs now criticising him rode to power using his name.

Those who Kalonzo well however say that he is bitter that the MPs beat him to Jubilee as he would have wanted to be the one to herd the community back to government. Mwangangi who is the most prominent Jubilee pointman in Ukambani told Kalonzo the community stands to benefit in government and had sometimes back been urging Kalonzo to join Uhuru and had even started modalities for the community to make a formal request on Uhuru to invite Kalonzo to government only for Kalonzo to chastise him fiercely on return from a trip to China where he is again.

Kalonzo who joined Raila in the last minutes before 2013 general elections is finding himself in unfamiliar political waters, namely the opposition, since his entry in parliament in a 1985 by-election. The by-elections was occasioned by the death of the popular Kitui North MP Philip Manandu who was shot dead by a rogue Administration Police officer.

For nearly three decades, Kalonzo enjoyed trappings of power rising from deputy speaker, assistant minister, minister and Kanu’s national organising secretary. He enjoyed political pupilage under the powerful Kanu supremo, Mulu Mutisya until his demise when he took over the leadership mantle of the community.
 It seems things have gone full circle for the one-time Kanu hawk. His political career is facing the severest challenges from leaders who are now calling on him to pass the baton to young leaders.

Of late, Kalonzo has suffered humiliation after his effort to stop the impeachment of Machakos deputy governor Benard Kiala failed. Nominated MCAs from his Wiper party ignored him and went ahead to impeach the Wiper deputy governor only to be saved by senate. From China where he is currently, the former VP will have to contend with the happenings at Makueni county where Governor Kivutha Kibwana is facing impeachment threats from majority MCAs also drawn from Wiper.

Even lowly factotums like Machakos MCAs led by minority leader Tom Kasoa were bold enough to dismiss the once-powerful Kalonzo when he castigated them on Kiala’s impeachment. Machakos Town MP Munyaka who is now allied to Jubilee also has told Kalonzo to read the writing on the wall  lest he ends up irrelevant sooner rather than later.

 When Uhuru visited Kitui, he was noncommittal on leaders’ pleas to have the Kibwezi-Kitui-Maua road tarmarcked and it has been whispered that this is the trumpcard Uhuru is waiting to snare Kalonzo with as he will tell Kambas part of the goodies he will give Kambas if Kalonzo agrees to be in government is construction of the road.

Word has it that should Kalonzo refuse to deal, Uhuru and William Ruto will groom a new crop of principals in the region to check Kalonzo whom they believe is too much a prisoner of Machakos senator Johnson Muthama. Kalonzo reluctantly joined Raila after being egged by Muthama and there are those who say that his heart is still in Jubilee where Muthama plucked him and bragged that he would throw Kalonzo into Raila’s camp the way one pushes cattle into the dip. Muthama would later joke that the misgivings Kalonzo was expressing in the Raila camp were the discomfort cattle feel when the pesticide comes into contact with the wounds on their skin falling ticks leave.

Incidentally, Muthama is also said to be trying to meet Uhuru to strike a deal that would see him bring Kalonzo and Kambas to Jubilee. Although he is doing this using the name of Kalonzo, the former VP has reportedly made it clear to State House that he has a mouth of his own and that Muthama is out to mortgage the community for his personal gains. It is said Kalonzo is aware that Muthama is using the political negotiation to have his fraud cases terminated. Others say Kalonzo is wary of deals struck by Muthama because at the end he receives only a fraction of the finances Muthama is send to take to him.

That Kalonzo is feeling it out of power is in no doubt. Last week, he reportedly initiated a court process to withdraw his party’s support to its nominated MP Bishop Robert Mutemi with a view to ejecting him and then taking over the position in parliament himself. Mutemi who is physically challenged represents the disabled and at one time when Kalonzo showed interest on his seat, he told Kalonzo to have a leg cut so that he fits the bill.


Embattled Labour, Social Security and Services cabinet secretary Kazungu Kambi who has of late been embroiled in controversies has been caught  in yet another saga where he is working in cahoots with one Ken Karisa to mint millions of shillings from unsuspecting Chinese investors and prominent local and international businessmen.

According to sources privy to the syndicate, Karisa who is a close ally of Kambi has his  phone number recorded in Kambi’s phone as Uhuru Kenyatta.

The con game is played in a manner that whenever Kambi has a meeting with investors or prominent businessmen, he signals Karisa to call him and Kambi would excuse himself to speak to the most powerful man in the country. He would even display his phone so that they see for themselves that it was Uhuru. He excuses himself running far end in the office corner in the pretext the president has called him and needs to be in private. As he goes, his visitors are convinced the cabinet secretary is so close to State House and has to be consulted on regular basis.

He would then retreat back claiming he had a serious conversation with the president and claim that the president was inviting him for a harambee. He would then ask the unsuspecting investors to chip in towards the presidential harambee. The unsuspecting investors would then contribute towards the harambee but the money ends up in Kambi’s pockets.

Of late, there have been concerns that those appointed on URP side in plum government positions are forced to contribute towards harambees as a payback. DP William Ruto has been contributing close to Sh10 million a week on the purported fundraisers. The deputy president is a close ally of Kambi. Word has it that the said investors happen to be close to Ruto and if Kambi invokes the DP’s name they will put him off in the pretext that they have already dealt with the DP and hence they are aware of the harambee.

 Kambi has been involved in bruising NSSF wars involving multi-billion construction projects. A section in Jubilee are allegedly out to siphon billions from the workers money as it used to happen during the Moi era to tame political opposition. Already, we have established that NSSF has lost close to Sh1.7billion public money between the months of January and June this year.

Due to corrupt deals at NSSF, the future of the controversial construction of the 62-storey building in Nairobi now hangs in the balance after investors snubbed an invite to participate in the project. Investors fear being associated with corruption as it is bound to taint their image locally and internationally.

They are also concerned with the state’s move to control the institution. Word has it that Uhuru signed the Finance Bill to have workers have a say on NSSF board after being advised investors were shunning NSSF projects due to lack of transparency and behind-the-scenes operations with kickbacks being asked in advance by key players.

This is the second time  investors have shunned the Sh20 billion project forcing the NSSF board to go back and think twice. Sources say NSSF invited investors to partner with it in the construction project planned to host conference halls, a five-star hotel and rental apartments. Industry analysts aver that it only received one proposal. This shows all is not well at the fund. This is happening as Ruto has openly come out to state the Jubilee government will push for implementation of new NSSF rates which contributors say is suspect.

It is said, due to its bad image among investors, the fund’s move to exit View Park Towers and Hazina all located in the city centre through sales has hit a snag. Lack of offers that matched its valuation and fear of corrupt deals has rendered the sale irrelevant. Investors are not interested in NSSF deals because of underhand deals that top management and other key players out to make a kill are involved in.


President Uhuru Kenyatta is under intense pressure from a section of his handlers to think twice in having William Ruto as his running mate in 2017.
Aware of the move, Ruto handlers have worked on a counterscheme to block the move. They are pushing to have all parties within the alliance dissolved to form one entity in the next two years.

Here, a Memorandum of Understanding is to be worked on whereby Ruto will back Uhuru 2017 under one party not an alliance of parties and then have Ruto run on the same ticket come 2022.
They want to transform and rebrand Jubilee into a party and not the coalition it is today. With this, Ruto wants to lock out potential presidential candidates who Uhuru may want to engage head of 2017. It is imperative to note that Kanu which is associated with Gideon Moi and UDF of Musalia Mudavadi have been  working with Jubilee. Mudavadi and Gideon are sworn Ruto political enemies.

Initially, URP plan was to have Uhuru rule for five years then allow Ruto to go for another term and then Uhuru again before Ruto completes his final one. However, Uhuru moved fast and declared he will run for presidency in 2017 getting Ruto and his allies offguard and scuttling the initial arrangement. They have decided to work on option two bearing in mind it is not a must Uhuru to have Ruto as his second in command come 2017. Documents filed with the registrar of political parties by Jubilee allows a window of any party involved moving out and striking other deals if it feels aggrieved.

Further, the political history in Kenya shows since the introduction of multi-party democracy, alliances never last for a second term.
The second Kenyatta to occupy the Kenyan presidency walked into office with Ruto as deputy.
But now, one-and-a-half years later, Uhuru is under pressure to drop Ruto as his running mate at the all-important 2017.

Uhuru is being besieged on some sides to let go of his fellow accused at the Kenyan crimes against humanity cases at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Even Raila is working in overtime and overdrive to drive a wedge between Uhuru and Ruto.
Raila has finally found a formula to seriously threaten the surprise unity of the Kikuyu and the Kalenjin that saw the emergence of The National Alliance and United Republican Party as the ruling Jubilee coalition. This magic formula is Kenya’s third national referendum on constitutional matters which is now unfolding with the twin, but, so far, separate heads of Cord’s Okoa Kenya and the Council of Governors’ pesa mashinani campaigns.

To his dismay, Ruto has looked on as Council of Governors’ chairman Isaac Rutto, who is governor of Bomet, wins some Rift Valley governors and MPs to the pesa mashinani campaign. This poses the danger of large sections of Ruto’s own URP voting with the opposition in the event that Okoa Kenya and pesa mashinani unite.

Also pressuring Uhuru are sections of the Mt Kenya functionaries who have never been comfortable with the Kikuyu-Kalenjin power pact that delivered the Kibaki succession. These Kikuyu tycoons are desperately pressing Uhuru to exercise the  community’s options if he is to serve a full two terms.

An interesting struggle has been unfolding inside  Mudavadi’s United Democratic Forum party.
Nick Wanjohi is said to be using his influence to control the party linked to him when Kibaki was in power.
Wanjohi is Kibaki’s private secretary, the same designation that he occupied in the retired president’s second and final term.

 Wanjohi was the most influential among the founders and funders of UDF when he was still a member of an incumbent presidency. He was among a number of far-sighted Mt Kenyan strategists who had convinced Kibaki that Kikuyu interests would be far safer and thrive more if he was succeeded by a reliable non-Mt Kenyan than if another Kikuyu was seen to ascend the throne of the presidency. Kibaki did not need much persuading that Mudavadi fitted the bill comfortably and would be a safe pair of hands as a successor.

By deciding on Mudavadi before other Mt Kenya factors intervened and prevailed, Kibaki was well aware that he was having a Daniel arap Moi moment (with Uhuru Kenyatta back in 2002) of his own. Even now Kibaki and his closest handlers such as Wanjohi know in their heart of hearts that Mudavadi remains key to the Mt Kenya region’s future calculus.

Close observers of the UDF crisis in the media, diplomatic and political sectors are increasingly convinced that despite Wanjohi’s denials, someone, somewhere who cannot be seen to be playing presidential race politics wants Mudavadi to float around so that he is available as an option in the event that Ruto is not going to be Uhuru’s preferred running mate in 2017. These strategists have started to lay the ground early.

They are far-sighted. Although, they are not interfering with Uhuru’s second term chances, their eyes are firmly on the president’s own succession come 2023. In their calculus, the political ground will have shifted in such a way by that time that the populous Luhya nation could finally be ready to line up totally behind one of its own, with considerable traction from the mountain.
Meanwhile, Ruto has lost all his main Kalenjin power elite investors, many of whom he has estranged by his style of leadership.

One of two things will happen next – the Kalenjin and old money could shop around for a new figurehead to replace Ruto and renew the MoU with the Kikuyu on condition that Ruto is not on the 2017 Presidential ticket, or they could return the community to opposition.

The Mt Kenya elite do not want to see the Kalenjin revert to opposition and would cut any deal to avert that outcome. This is both Ruto’s remaining strength and greatest weakness.
The Mt Kenyans are also shopping around for a new “tyranny of numbers” paradigm, over and above the MoU with the Rift Valley, and they are prepared to spend to secure it.

This is both Mudavadi’s remaining relevance and greatest danger. Danger, if he is unable to bring the numbers to the high table of the next presidential race. He had 500,000 votes to the nearest round figure last year – if he can double or treble this number in 2017, he could be the man to beat in 2023.

And Mwai Kibaki’s vision of 2013 could be proved right exactly 10 years later, just as Daniel Moi’s giraffe vision was between 2002 and 2013.