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CELEB BUZZ: What’s ailing P-Unit?




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Mayday! Mayday! A giant is falling. Help is needed fast. Seriously, what’s happening to once mighty P-Unit? The group that has given us multiple hits in the past is slowly losing its influence.

I have a penchant for relying on facts instead of assumptions so let us look at how their past three songs have performed. “Chocha”, which was released around eight months ago only has 350,000 views on YouTube. That’s a figure that Willy Paul hits in three days.

“Me I” which was released three months ago has a dismal 160,000 views whereas their latest single “Fire” has around 65,000 views. There’s clearly a problem here, right?

P-Unit perform at Zen Garden on September 25, 2014.

P-Unit perform at Zen Garden on September 25, 2014. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Today, I seek to come up with an accurate diagnosis of the patient at hand. You can call me Dr. Etemesi. To pinpoint the disease that is chewing on the cells of P-Unit, I will quickly look at a few possible scenarios.

Perhaps the problem is Boneye.

Many music lovers will agree that one of the greatest verses in Kenyan music history was created by Boneye. That’s despite the fact that he was making very little sense in the iconic verse. It was just good. It was like listening to a pastor speaking in tongues and just loving what he’s saying. It was the cousin of catchy, if not the brother.

A good number of us have still crammed his words from P-Unit’s 2010 smash single “Kare.” Boneye’s verse went something like “Bon’Eye jemedari mkare, mistari generale, kare, generali tangu kale, kare.” Frasha’s verse was also pretty solid but Boneye’s ramblings were unforgettable.

This was not something we were used to because Boneye is normally the weakest member of P-Unit. Apart from “Kare”, Boneye’s verses in all other P-Unit songs have been worthy of fast-forwarding.

The last time P-Unit had a well-performing single was two years ago. The song was “Wabe” and as you guessed, Boneye wasn’t in it. There were rumours that he had quit the group but that wasn’t true. He was just left out the way Takeoff was left out of Migos’ biggest single “Bad ‘n’ Boujee.” Maybe it would have been a good thing if Boneye had indeed left.

P-Unit duo Frasha (left) and Gabu at Zen Garden on September 25, 2014.

P-Unit duo Frasha (left) and Gabu at Zen Garden on September 25, 2014. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Frasha and Gabu have featured on other successful singles outside P-Unit but Boneye has never done that. While he is away from his band brothers, his weaknesses are usually exposed in a major way.  

Nearly every music group has a chink in the armour so Boneye’s case isn’t unique. Kleptomaniax had Roba. The Kansoul has Kora. Ethic has Zilla and so on. Whenever members of a group decide to work on their own, the weak member usually ends up suffering –n a lot.


So, should Boneye be dropped for P-Unit to function magnificently again? Though it might not be easy for the other members to tell him “si ukae kando kidogo (step aside for a while)”, I think this is exactly what should be done, at least temporarily. If Gabu and Frasha manage to come up with another “Wabe”, then surgery should be done to remove Boneye completely.

The decision to focus on individual projects for a while could also have been the gremlin. Before they returned with “Chocha”, P-Unit hadn’t released a song together for over a year.

Frasha had decided he wanted to be an MCA. He ran a spirited campaign before backing out at the last minute. Gabu was hanging out with the likes of Kristoff and featuring in numerous collaborations while Boneye was busy being a businessman and running Decimal Records with veteran producer Musyoka.

P-Unit during their launch of

P-Unit during their launch of “Mobimba” video in Westlands, Nairobi, in 2013. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

It is said that when a group becomes too big, the members usually end up becoming too busy for each other. I was talking to a friend recently and he told me “You think even kina Bien and Savara hang out together nowadays? I bet they only meet in the studio when it’s time to record.” That might be true.

So maybe P-Unit forgot how to work together as a group after each member decided to go solo for a while. Only they themselves can fix that by making the journey back to what made them tick in the first place.

Or maybe their time is just up. Every musician or music group has their peak years after which they slowly wane. It happens to them all. No one stays at the top forever.

With the emergence of hot new groups like Ethic, the focus of the fans might have shifted. Younger fans that make up the majority of mainstream music consumers (because they have a lot of time on their hands) might not have been paying attention when P-Unit came up over 10 years ago. As a result, they don’t value the group as much.

Boneye (left) and Frasha of P-Unit.

Boneye (left) and Frasha of P-Unit on stage during the Decimator Volume 1 album launch on December 11, 2018. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Older fans that were hungry for music when P-Unit came up with songs like “Si Lazima” might be too busy right now to keep the group relevant. If this is the case, then Frasha, Boneye and Gabu can just accept things as they are and let fate do what it does best.  

My hope is that what’s ailing P-Unit is only a short-term illness. I hope it’s a homa that will go away. I have loved the group since its inception. In fact, I am listening to “Kushoto Kulia” right now. It would be sad to see them fade away. I hope they render this article irrelevant by releasing another banger, even tomorrow. I really hope they do.



Sordid tale of the bank ‘that would bribe God’




Bank of Credit and Commerce International. August 1991. [File, Standard]

“This bank would bribe God.” These words of a former employee of the disgraced Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) sum up one of the most rotten global financial institutions.
BCCI pitched itself as a top bank for the Third World, but its spectacular collapse would reveal a web of transnational corruption and a playground for dictators, drug lords and terrorists.
It was one of the largest banks cutting across 69 countries and its aftermath would cause despair to innocent depositors, including Kenyans.
BCCI, which had $20 billion (Sh2.1 trillion in today’s exchange rate) assets globally, was revealed to have lost more than its entire capital.
The bank was founded in 1972 by the crafty Pakistani banker Agha Hasan Abedi.
He was loved in his homeland for his charitable acts but would go on to break every rule known to God and man.
In 1991, the Bank of England (BoE) froze its assets, citing large-scale fraud running for several years. This would see the bank cease operations in multiple countries. The Luxembourg-based BCCI was 77 per cent owned by the Gulf Emirate of Abu Dhabi.  
BoE investigations had unearthed laundering of drugs money, terrorism financing and the bank boasted of having high-profile customers such as Panama’s former strongman Manual Noriega as customers.
The Standard, quoting “highly placed” sources reported that Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Zayed Sultan would act as guarantor to protect the savings of Kenyan depositors.
The bank had five branches countrywide and panic had gripped depositors on the state of their money.
Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) would then move to appoint a manager to oversee the operations of the BCCI operations in Kenya.
It sent statements assuring depositors that their money was safe.
The Standard reported that the Sheikh would be approaching the Kenyan and other regional subsidiaries of the bank to urge them to maintain operations and assure them of his personal support.
It was said that contact between CBK and Abu Dhabi was “likely.”
This came as the British Ambassador to the UAE Graham Burton implored the gulf state to help compensate Britons, and the Indian government also took similar steps.
The collapse of BCCI was, however, not expect to badly hit the Kenyan banking system. This was during the sleazy 1990s when Kenya’s banking system was badly tested. It was the era of high graft and “political banks,” where the institutions fraudulently lent to firms belonging or connected to politicians, who were sometimes also shareholders.
And even though the impact was expected to be minimal, it was projected that a significant number of depositors would transfer funds from Asian and Arab banks to other local institutions.
“Confidence in Arab banking has taken a serious knock,” the “highly placed” source told The Standard.
BCCI didn’t go down without a fight. It accused the British government of a conspiracy to bring down the Pakistani-run bank.  The Sheikh was said to be furious and would later engage in a protracted legal battle with the British.
“It looks to us like a Western plot to eliminate a successful Muslim-run Third World Bank. We know that it often acted unethically. But that is no excuse for putting it out of business, especially as the Sultan of Abu Dhabi had agreed to a restructuring plan,” said a spokesperson for British Asians.
A CBK statement signed by then-Deputy Governor Wanjohi Murithi said it was keenly monitoring affairs of the mother bank and would go to lengths to protect Kenyan depositors.
“In this respect, the CBK has sought and obtained the assurance of the branch’s management that the interests of depositors are not put at risk by the difficulties facing the parent company and that the bank will meet any withdrawal instructions by depositors in the normal course of business,” said Mr Murithi.
CBK added that it had maintained surveillance of the local branch and was satisfied with its solvency and liquidity.
This was meant to stop Kenyans from making panic withdrawals.
For instance, armed policemen would be deployed at the bank’s Nairobi branch on Koinange Street after the bank had announced it would shut its Kenyan operations.
In Britain, thousands of businesses owned by British Asians were on the verge of financial ruin following the closure of BCCI.
Their firms held almost half of the 120,000 bank accounts registered with BCCI in Britain. 
The African Development Bank was also not spared from this mess, with the bulk of its funds deposited and BCCI and stood to lose every coin.
Criminal culture
In Britain, local authorities from Scotland to the Channel Islands are said to have lost over £100 million (Sh15.2 billion in today’s exchange rate).
The biggest puzzle remained how BCCI was allowed by BoE and other monetary regulation authorities globally to reach such levels of fraudulence.
This was despite the bank being under tight watch owing to the conviction of some of its executives on narcotics laundering charges in the US.
Coast politician, the late Shariff Nassir, would claim that five primary schools in Mombasa lost nearly Sh1 million and appealed to then Education Minister George Saitoti to help recover the savings. Then BoE Governor Robin Leigh-Pemberton condemned it as so deeply immersed in fraud that rescue or recovery – at least in Britain – was out of the question.
“The culture of the bank is criminal,” he said. The bank was revealed to have targeted the Third World and had created several “institutional devices” to promote its operations in developing countries.
These included the Third World Foundation for Social and Economic Studies, a British-registered charity.
“It allowed it to cultivate high-level contacts among international statesmen,” reported The Observer, a British newspaper.
BCCI also arranged an annual Third World lecture and a Third World prize endowment fund of about $10 million (Sh1 billion in today’s exchange rate).
Winners of the annual prize had included Nelson Mandela (1985), sir Bob Geldof (1986) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1989).
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Monitor water pumps remotely via your phone

Tracking and monitoring motor vehicles is not new to Kenyans. Competition to install affordable tracking devices is fierce but essential for fleet managers who receive reports online and track vehicles from the comfort of their desk.

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Agricultural Development Corporation Chief Accountant Gerald Karuga on the Spot Over Fraud –




Gerald Karuga, the acting chief accountant at the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), is on the spot over fraud in land dealings.

ADC was established in 1965 through an Act of Parliament Cap 346 to facilitate the land transfer programme from European settlers to locals after Kenya gained independence.

Karuga is under fire for allegedly aiding a former powerful permanent secretary in the KANU era Benjamin Kipkulei to deprive ADC beneficiaries of their land in Naivasha.

Kahawa Tungu understands that the aggrieved parties continue to protest the injustice and are now asking the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to probe Karuga.

A source who spoke to Weekly Citizen publication revealed that Managing Director Mohammed Dulle is also involved in the mess at ADC.

Read: Ministry of Agriculture Apologizes After Sending Out Tweets Portraying the President in bad light

Dulle is accused of sidelining a section of staffers in the parastatal.

The sources at ADC intimated that Karuga has been placed strategically at ADC to safeguard interests of many people who acquired the corporations’ land as “donations” from former President Daniel Arap Moi.

Despite working at ADC for many years Karuga has never been transferred, a trend that has raised eyebrows.

“Karuga has worked here for more than 30 years and unlike other senior officers in other parastatals who are transferred after promotion or moved to different ministries, for him, he has stuck here for all these years and we highly suspect that he is aiding people who were dished out with big chunks of land belonging to the corporation in different parts of the country,” said the source.

In the case of Karuga safeguarding Kipkulei’s interests, workers at the parastatals and the victims who claim to have lost their land in Naivasha revealed that during the Moi regime some senior officials used dubious means to register people as beneficiaries of land without their knowledge and later on colluded with rogue land officials at the Ministry of Lands to acquire title deeds in their names instead of those of the benefactors.

Read Also: Galana Kulalu Irrigation Scheme To Undergo Viability Test Before Being Privatised


“We have information that Karuga has benefitted much from Kipkulei through helping him and this can be proved by the fact that since the matter of the Naivasha land began, he has been seen changing and buying high-end vehicles that many people of his rank in government can’t afford to buy or maintain,” the source added.

“He is even building a big apartment for rent in Ruiru town.”

The wealthy officer is valued at over Sh1.5 billion in prime properties and real estate.

Last month, more than 100 squatters caused scenes in Naivasha after raiding a private firm owned by Kipkulei.

The squatters, who claimed to have lived on the land for more than 40 years, were protesting take over of the land by a private developer who had allegedly bought the land from the former PS.

They pulled down a three-kilometre fence that the private developed had erected.

The squatters claimed that the former PS had not informed them that he had sold the land and that the developer was spraying harmful chemicals on the grass affecting their livestock and homes built on a section of the land.

Read Also: DP Ruto Wants NCPB And Other Agricultural Bodies Merged For Efficiency

Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Kisilu Mutua later issued a statement warning the squatters against encroaching on Kipkuleir’s land.

“They are illegally invading private land. We shall not allow the rule of the jungle to take root,” warned Mutua.

Meanwhile, a parliamentary committee recently demanded to know identities of 10 faceless people who grabbed 30,350 acres of land belonging to the parastatal, exposing the rot at the corporation.

ADC Chairman Nick Salat, who doubles up as the KANU party Secretary-General, denied knowledge of the individuals and has asked DCI to probe the matter.

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William Ruto eyes Raila Odinga Nyanza backyard




Deputy President William Ruto will next month take his ‘hustler nation’ campaigns to his main rival, ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Nyanza backyard, in an escalation of the 2022 General Election competition.

Acrimonious fall-out

Development agenda

Won’t bear fruit

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