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Citizen Weekly

Saturday 31 January 2015


KISUMU, Kenya Jan 30 – Kisumu County Governor Jack Ranguma on Friday sacked five County Executive Members and merged some ministries to improve service delivery for the residents.
Those affected by the changes are Stephen Orot (Agriculture), Barrack Abonyo (Water), Vincent Kodera (Roads) and Omulo Okal (Finance).
Ranguma has in the meantime appointed Philip Obade to take charge of Agriculture docket; Johnson Odero will now lead the Industrialization while Michael Otieno will be at the helm of the newly created ICT docket.
William Oweke and George Onyanga are to head the Water and Finance portfolios respectively.
He explained that the sacked members had exhibited lack of team work that threatened to derail his ambitious plans to offer quality service to the people of Kisumu.
Addressing a press conference in his office, the Kisumu Governor said he has been forced to make changes in the structure of his government to achieve desired efficiency and effectiveness.
He said he has identified people who are ready to work and contribute to the vision of the county.
Ranguma said he has the mandate of the people of Kisumu to ensure they receive the desired services thus the need to make the changes.
The Kisumu County Executive arm has in the recent past been rocked by a myriad of challenges with his deputy Ruth Odinga overruling some of the decisions made towards the running of the county.
Outgoing Roads executive Vincent Kodera said he will challenge his dismissal in court.
Kodera said he is a professional and questioned the incompetence tag Ranguma has used to drop him.
He termed the Governor’s remarks as ‘defamation and will taint his name as a professional engineer.’
Addressing news conference in Kisumu, Kodera says he will also be demanding salary for the remaining period he was to serve as the executive member.
He said would not want to return and serve in the county government.


Fidel Odinga marriage to Veronica Wanjiru (Shiru) was an almost Shakespearean love story. His father and grandfather were the de-facto leaders of the Luo, who, since independence, have fought bitter political duels with the Kikuyu. The nuptials electrified the nation with Fidel towering protectively over the gorgeous Wanjiru during Ngurario the Agikuyu traditional marriage ceremony, where the Odinga clan was led by Dr Oburu Odinga. Would this marriage narrow the gulf between the two feuding communities? Sadly, their love fizzled out. Oburu later rubbed Shiru the wrong way, when he dismissively described her as a ‘seedless woman’ at Fidel’s funeral. Now, for the first time, in an exclusive interview with The Nairobian, Veronica speaks about Oburu Odinga’s taunt. “My comment on the entire issue is, ‘I choose not to comment.’ Not because I have nothing to say, but because I would rather keep quiet. I am a private person and wouldn’t to run my mouth,” said Veronica. Fidel married Veronica Wanjiru Ng’ang’a under customary law on March 17, 2007. Their marriage, however collapsed and the two divorced due to ‘irreconcilable differences’. She says that although it was an amicable divorce, it affected her but eventually came to terms with it. “I don’t want to change the course of my life. I just want to live my life,” she says. Talking about Fidel’s demise, Veronica says she was shocked and realised that life is too short, and must be lived to the fullest. She describes some of the happy moments in her marriage to Fidel. “I had even learned how to speak Dholuo. I don’t want to speak a lot about Fidel because I respect his wife, since he had remarried,” says Veronica, revealing that the divorce also affected her life. After the divorce, rumour mills went wild on social media, with many saying theirs was a marriage borne out of political convenience, and not real love. “People can talk. If I was to write, I would fill a book with a lot of nasty things people said about me and Fidel. I can publish a book about that. People just talk,” says Veronica.

Kenya ranked 4th globally in list of countries worst hit by fraud

Kenya is ranked the 4th globally among countries worst hit by fraud behind Nigeria, Egypt and Namibia, a survey has revealed. According to The third Global Fraud survey by Ernest & Young (EY), most fraud incidents are perpetrated by middle-level managers. The report indicates that over a quarter (27 per cent) of Kenyan managers in the private sector admit that their organisations have experienced a significant fraud. “This puts Kenya in the top 10 countries globally, where organisations have experienced a significant fraud,” read in part of the survey report. The survey titled Overcoming Compliance Fatigue: Reinforcing the Commitment to Ethical Growth, further indicates that the country is also emerging as a potential hot spot for cyber crime, as Kenya leads in electronic payment systems including cashless public transport and mobile cash platforms. The survey also points out that cybercrime poses a high risk, with Kenyan managers in the private sector seeing a heightened risk of the new vice. The survey findings indicate that 62 per cent of those polled deem it high risk to organisations like theirs. This compares to the global average of 49 per cent and an average of 51 per cent for Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA).


Cash-starved Mumias Sugar is set to receive Sh500 million bail out package next week after the miller announced a plan to replace top managers.
Announcing the rescue plan, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei said release of the funds follows a plan by the company to effect changes at the top management which are “credible and responsive to the demands of the business.”
“In the spirit of accountability, all those found to have contributed to the company’s current challenges must be held to account… as a government, we will not watch as they walk free and enjoy ill-gotten wealth,” added Mr Koskei.
Earlier Mumias advertised six top management jobs including chief finance services officer, chief agricultural service’s officer, chief factory operations officer and chief human resource officer.
It is understood that the recruitment may result in sacking some of the current managers as they will be required to re-apply for their jobs and face fresh vetting.
The vetting is to be based on results of an audit report conducted by audit firm KPMG, which is said to have linked a number of managers to corrupt deals. The report has never been made public.
“Strategies formulated will return the company to its profit-making ways and serve the needs of all stakeholders,” Mumias Sugar board chairman Dan Ameyo said on Friday.
“Stakeholders are unanimous that there is need to identify a new team that can drive the business differently,” said Mr Koskei.
The Treasury had last month set conditions that the miller presents it with a clear reform strategy as a precondition for a bail out package.
“But there has to be very clear stabilisation and reform plan which covers the short-term, medium and long-term. We can’t just blindly pump money into the miller,” Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said.
The company announced last year that it had renegotiated a Sh5 billion debt repayment with seven lenders as it posted a loss for the second year running.
In September, the listed miller suffered Sh2.7 billion loss for the year ended June 2014, blaming it on illegal sugar imports that depressed its ex-factory prices. It had recorded Sh1.6 billion loss in 2013.
It has also emerged that Mumias is also heavily indebted to Kenya Revenue Authority and Kenya Power.
“We intend to engage all government agencies such as KRA and Kenya Power to whom Mumias is heavily indebted to support the bail-out by putting on hold any precipitate action,” said Mr Koskei.

Sunday 25 January 2015


Fear has gripped the Jubilee government ahead of the 2017 general elections  concerning happenings in URP wing of Deputy President William Ruto. Already political analysts aver, if the unfolding events whether  genuine or  sponsored by opposition are not controlled, it is likely to cost the president his second bid.
Already a letter purported to have origins in the office of the DP is in the hands of Cord propaganda team and is set to be used in future political games. Although the matter is under police investigations, the damage has already been done whichever way investigations go because Cord followers are unlikely to believe different. In the letter, Ruto is alleged to be fronting a firm AA Bayusuf and Sons to be subcontracted by China Roads and Bridges Corporation Ltd on the Standard Gauge Railway Line. (Read the letter in full on page 1)
And as the letter was in circulation, the Lang’ata Road Primary School playground landgrabbing saga is turning out to be one of those initially apparently inconsequential business-as-usual events that soon escalate into political focal points and produce earthquakes.
The Arab Spring of a few years ago that deposed more than three longterm strongman regimes started with a single despondent hawker setting himself ablaze in Tunisia.
The teargassing of Lang’ata Road Primary School kids by riot police defending the fencing off of their playground by a grabber signaled that something is very wrong at the very top in the Jubilee administration and a political earthquake is in the offing in 2015, just two years ahead of the do-or-die 2017 presidential race.
Already the opposition is planning to unmask  Ruto as the Mr Big, or chief grabber, behind the playground scam.The naming is to happen when Raila Odinga, is back from India, on semi-official business.
Ruto’s unmasking will be one of the sweetest moments for Raila, the man the DP denied the privilege and pleasure of becoming Kenya’s fourth president when he chose instead to be Uhuru’s running mate in 2013.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s reaction to the attack on schoolchildren that immediately gave his administration a brand new bad name across the world has been that of a national chief executive and Commander-in-Chief who is not fully informed of the goings-on inside his own paramount institution, the presidency.
The president’s supporters are already getting jittery at the URP’s modus operandi.They blame the 50-50 power sharing formula before 2013 as having left Uhuru at the mercy of URP.
Many say the URP wing in Jubilee is at the stage of primitive accumulation in capital formation. They say that URP was mimicking the robber barons of the 19th and early 20th centuries  who built the United States of America.
Infact, when a one  Patrick Osero, a businessman who also happens to be the chairman of the Agricultural Finance Corporation, a key state corporation, claimed ownership of the multi-million-shillings Weston Hotel near Wilson Airport many were left wondering. First it is no secret Osero’s position at AFC was brokered by Ruto and the two are close. Osero stood a Sh6m surety for the DP during a criminal case during the Kibaki era. Reports say, fearing for any eventuality at the ICC, Ruto of late has been transferring his investments to third parties. ICC can give a decree to have the properties confiscated and sold to compensate post-election victims if found guilty. 
The Weston  hotel  has been linked in some quarters to the grabbing of the school playground.
It has been an open secret for years that the Weston is in fact one of Ruto’s key pet projects. Until recently he visited the hotel project on a virtually daily basis, particularly evenings and late nights.
A recent opposition meeting erupted with shock and surprise when Osero broke cover and sought to divert attention from Ruto. We are reliably informed that very senior Cord operatives connected the dots, added two and two together and hit the jackpot.
A top secret dossier was quickly prepared  by Cord strategists while Ruto was away at The Hague attending to his case.
The report informed the opposition key players that Ruto  not only influenced Osero’s appointment to the AFC, a key parastatal, but had also 15 years ago grabbed the land the Weston Hotel now stands on from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, a strategic state corporation.
The grab of the KCAA land was in the final years of the Kanu era. The development of the Weston Hotel started only five years ago, and Ruto is on video footage taking visitors around the project in 2010 and boasting of how he likes to build things.
The Cord strategists want the KCAA land repossessed which would almost certainly mean the demolition of the Weston Hotel or its confiscation.
KCAA was established on October 24 2002 by the Civil Aviation  (Amendment) Act, 2002 with the primary functions of regulation and oversight of aviation safety and security; economic regulation of air services and development of civil aviation; provision of air navigation services, and  training of aviation personnel.
KCAA is guided by the provisions of the convention on international civil aviation, related ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices, the Kenya Civil Aviation Act, 2013 and the civil aviation regulations.
To this day, and several CEOs down the road, the KCAA’s institutional memory of losing one of its most prime real estates to the grabbers and developers of the Weston Hotel is still felt keenly. One of the most eyecatching features of the KCAA website today reads as follows:
Corruption Ends Here!
KCAA is a corruption free zone
To report:
Dedicated Tel no. +254 20 822519
Or drop your note at our integrity boxes at KCAA offices
To opposition, the Weston Hotel is an icon of impunity and should be demolished by the Air Force in a show of might and precision as spectacular as the sinking of the drugs ship in the Indian Ocean in 2014 supervised by the president himself.
Another late night meeting of  by opposition had top on the list was the KPC Ngong Forest Land Scandal. Ruto was on trial charged with defrauding the Kenya Pipeline Company of huge amounts of money through dubious land deals. The Constitutional Court suspended further hearing of the case due to complaints by Ruto that the prosecution was politically engineered.
Then came the maize scandal of early 2009. After parliamentary debate on a maize scandal, Ruto was accused of illegally selling maize by Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale. Fake documents bearing the National Cereals and Produce Board seal that linked Ruto to the illegal sale of maize were rejected by parliament’s then deputy speaker.
Ruto attributed the maize scandal allegations and claims of his involvement in corruption to the work of his “political enemies”.
A report by the Law Society of Kenya blacklisting of Ruto on January 16 2012 is also part of the strategy. On that date, LSK published information on Ruto as one of the public officials mentioned adversely in various reports on issues ranging from corruption to economic crimes.
LSK advised voters not to vote for those mentioned in the report as they had previously been massively compromised.
The opposition is also linking URP to mega scams at National Social Security Fund. The Tassia project and extension of Hazina Towers has raised eyebrows in the manner NSSF is using the workers money. They even claim Uhuru cannot sack cabinet secretaries associated with corrupt deals such as the Energy boss Davis Chirchir whose name has featured prominently in the IEBC chicken -gate Scandal.
Back in the Bayussuf-China Road letter, it was recently claimed Ruto had crossed swords with Nairobi senator Mike Sonko after Ruto took 60 lorries to the SGR site where Sonko has over 200 trucks doing the work Bayussuf lorries in the letter were ostensibly to do. It was alleged that Ruto’s front in the scheme is a one Langat who is the accountant at his Harambee Annexe House.


The presence of interior cabinet secretary Joseph Nkaissery who is a member of cord at the jubilee meeting in Naivasha has confirmed what Kenyans have been speculating for the last few days. That Nkaissery is enjoying a special relationship with Uhuru Kenyatta and that he has indeed joined the coveted president’s kitchen cabinet.
This notwithstanding the fact  a faction of Uhuru handlers were not comfortable with his appointment and were pushing for the naming of Transport cabinet secretary Michael Kamau to land the security docket. However they were unsuccessful when regional and tribal politics played out. For Uhuru to endear himself to the Maasai community, one of them had to replace Joseph Ole Lenku. 
Nkaissery has now officially joined the kitchen cabinet and is Uhuru’s trusted lieutenant. Sources at Harambee House say he has started eclipsing the Devolution cabinet secretary Anne Waiguru as the most powerful CS in the Jubilee administration. His political godfather is Chief of the General Staff Julius Karangi no less. Outside the Kenyatta family members that surround Uhuru, it is only Karangi whom Uhuru now believes means what they say.
But is not only the kitchen cabinet that is now feling the heat following Nkaissery’s appointment. Back in the Maasai region, before his appointment, MPs Katoo Ole Metito  of Kajiado South and Kajiado North’s Moses ole Sakuda of the ruling Jubilee had entrenched themselves as the most significant leaders from the region. Reports have it, the Security CS has promised to deliver the Kajiado Central seat to TNA in the looming by-election.
That Nkaiserry is the one calling the shots in Maasai politics is no secret.Uhuru is said to have tasked him to re-unite various factions in Narok county politics that are calling for the removal of Governor Moses Tunai.
To show how powerful Nkaissery has become, last week, he represented Uhuru during the opening of the fifth session of the Forum of Parliaments of Member States of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region. One would have expected Uhuru to be represented by either the speaker or majority leader.
Following the Lang’ata  Primary School land grabbing saga where police lobbied tear gas canisters on school children, it was Nkaissery who was summoned by Uhuru to deliver the government’s apology to the parents and the pupils. Nkaissery was dispatched to Lang’ata Primary for damage control.
Later he dresseddown Lands cabinet minister Charity Ngilu in what many saw as sending a message that Nkaissery is a superminister amongst ministers. Nkaissery in what amounted to  ordering a fellow minister said: “The Lands cabinet secretary and National Lands Commission chair should come out today and name the private developer linked to the school’s land grabbing. If they fail to name the person, they should be ready for consequences”.
There are those who are now saying that Nkaeissery is being used to kick out Ngilu from the cabinet after he humiliated her with the order to name the land thieves. The consequences have been interpreted to mean Ngilu could as well be shown the door. And to the surprise of many, Ngilu went ahead to reveal the Asian owners of the plot. Earlier the president himself had uncharacteristically hit out at Ngilu in what was later interpreted as setting the tone for Nkaissery.
Upon his appointment, Nkaissery now enjoys a 24-hour access to the president both at Harambee House and State House. He also enjoys direct communication through his direct line both at his ministerial office at Harambee House and at his residential house. He also now sits in the powerful National Security Council. 
Military sources divulged that Karangi and Nkaissery get along well and with their combination, security situation is likely to improve.
Sources say there was bad blood between Karangi and former Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo as was witnessed during the operations at the West Gate Mall and that allegedly hampered the operations.
For the short time he has been in office, Nkaissery has proven that he is up to the task although fellow cabinet ministers say he is abrasive and combative and has no respect for some of them. Back in Kajiado, his friends must endure with being ordered  around.
Uhuru and Nkaissery relationship is not new. It started during the Kanu days when Nkaissery was a key player in Uhuru’s first bid for the presidency in 2002. He was Uhuru’s pointman in Narok and Kajiado. William ole Ntimama  ditched Kanu for Narc leaving Nkaissery as the most reliable Kanu man to campaign for Uhuru and Kanu.
Nkaissery served as Kanu’s deputy secretary general until 2007. They parted with Uhuru  when Uhuru supported Mwai Kibaki’s re-election in 2007 and joined ODM where he supported Raila Odinga.
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.
 Major players in Uhuru’s  kitchen cabinet  are Kenya’s First Lady Margaret, his mother Mama Ngina and brother Muhoho Kenyatta.
George Muhoho is another key player. He is Uhuru’s uncle and a former director general of the Kenya Airports Authority.  Muhoho is brother of Mama Ngina.
Jomo Gechaga the president’s nephew is another key member. He is the president’s private secretary.
Others are Karangi, Chris Kirubi and Joseph Kinyua who is Chief of Staff and Head of Civil Service.
Michael Kamau, the Transport cabinet secretary, Solicitor General Njee Muturi who is a longtime Uhuru loyalist and Waiguru are members of the president’s inner circle.

Businessmen out to put government in the dock

Businessmen have separately sued the state seeking over Sh8.8 billion over malicious prosecution. Mohan Galot and Erick Mwirigi Mbaaru are seeking Sh5billion and Sh3.8billion respectively. Galot alleged that the pending prosecution in two separate criminal cases is a violation of his rights while Mbaaru’s criminal case has been suspended by the High Court. Mbaaru the managing director of Edenswin Traders Limited has sued the trial magistrate, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the National Police Service Commission and the Inspector General of Police, claiming he was unlawfully prosecuted. Galot is charged alongside his wife Santosh over their status as shareholders and directors of the multi billion companies. Lawyer Nelson Havi for Galot told the court that there was already three civil cases pending in court which are yet to be determined. High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi heard that the two criminal cases relating to Galot Industries Limited were instituted by the DPP against  Mohan and his wife. Mohan in a petition filed at the High Court wants the Attorney General Githu Muigai and Director of Puiblic Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko, and two of his relatives Pravin Galot and Rajesh Galot  directed to pay him general damages.The companies at the center of the dispute are Galot Limited, Manchester Outfitters Limited, Galot Industries Limited, King Woolen Mills Limited, Galot International Limited, Mohan Meakin Kenya Limited, London Distillers Kenya Limited and MG Park Limited. Galot wants the court to quash the entire proceedings in the two criminal cases and issue an injunction prohibiting the DPP and the magistrate’s court and  from handling the matter pending the outcome of the civil cases. The case was adjourned upto March 20 for further hearing. “The decision to charge me was irrational, discriminatory and unconstitutional and it was an abuse of office and powers for ulterior motives,” said Mbaaru. Mbaaru avers  he was arrested on April 21 2012 at Home Land Hotel along Thika Road and directed to report to the Criminal Investigations Department headquarters for questioning. Mbaaru was charged with obtained Sh21,768,475 from Wu Ji, in the pretext that he could export hides and skins from Kenya to China on diverse dates between March 30 and November 3 2011 in Nairobi county. Mbaaru denied the charge but argues that the case has ruined his business.The petitioner also claims that he was not given the right to be heard and to produce export documents for investigations into international business dispute. He pointed out that he indeed exported the skins to China between March and November 2011. “The state held all the export documents and my international business records so that they may prosecute me,” he said. The petitioner insists the Kenyan government has violated his constitutional rights by unlawfully concealing his export records in order to charge him. He claims to have exported one container with a total of 2,000 dozens of wet blue goat skins to Wuji. Two more containers were exported in July 2011, with 2,000 dozens each. Mbaaru pointed out that he exported more containers during that period, and is now seeking compensation for losses that arose from defects in goods and services. “Needs compensation for loss of finances and international business deals worth millions of dollars, my dignity and international reputation,” read the suit papers.