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Cooperate with Matiang’i or quit, Uhuru tells CSs

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President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday ordered ministers to cooperate with Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, and told anyone disgruntled with his elevation as ‘development czar’ to quit.

Uhuru reminded the 21 CSs that he alone is the appointing authority and he will not hesitate to crack the whip on those sabotaging his agenda.

On January 21, the President reorganised his government, creating a four-tier executive authority with Matiang’i at the helm, bringing him to the heart of his administration.

The elevation, with supervisory roles across government, was seen as a strategic move to reduce the influence of Deputy President William Ruto.

Speaking later in Kitengela on his way to Arusha, the President said that he has directed Cabinet Secretaries to work harder to serve Kenyans.

He said Cabinet Secretaries must engage with Kenyans at the grassroots in order to better serve the needs of citizens.

The President cautioned Cabinet Secretaries who fail to serve the public as required, saying that those who cannot meet the requirements of their jobs are free to exit and pave way for other qualified Kenyans.

“During today’s Cabinet meeting I reminded our Cabinet Secretaries that there are many young Kenyans who are willing and ready to work if they felt they are not up to the task. Those who’ve chosen to keep politicking instead of serving the people should be ready to give way,” Uhuru said.

He said his administration is keen on delivering the promises made during the last general elections.

Shortly after the meeting at State House Nairobi, Ruto appeared to make a sharp U-turn on his 2022 presidential campaigns.

Ruto said he has never approved, canvassed or engaged in any form of preparation for a presidential or other campaign after the last presidential polls in 2017.

“It has come to the attention of the Deputy President that there are individuals and/or groups who are purporting to be mobilising support connected to his 2022 presidential campaign,” he said.

Read: Uhuru trims Ruto’s power in new order

In a strongly worded statement, Ruto dismissed those campaigning for him make better use of their resources.

“The Deputy President therefore asks those running noisy charades and mock campaigns to use resources. He also demands that they leave his name out of their shenanigans,” Ruto said though his communications secretary David Mugonyi.

It was unclear what triggered the DP’s response, although he has been on a near weekly 2022 charm offensive known as the Tangatanga movement. Uhuru had famously criticised the DP for wandering aimlessly or loitering around the country.

The President reading the riot act to the Cabinet secretaries was the clearest signal that he had received intelligence on a silent mutiny against Matiang’i.

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On Tuesday, the Star exclusively reported that turf wars had rocked the Cabinet with five ministers, two allied to Uhuru and three Ruto appointees, saying Matiang’s elevation is not anchored in law.

“As per the law, we are all equal, we are all performers. How will a colleague write to us asking us to brief him on the projects we are undertaking?” one CS asked, seeking anonymity for fear of reprisal.

But a stern President told his CSs that their focus must be on delivering services, especially his Big Four agenda, and not 2022 succession politics.

Read: Five ministers rebel against CS Matiang’i

The meeting yesterday was the first full Cabinet sitting since Uhuru made the radical changes nearly two weeks ago.

“He [Uhuru] was firm that the executive order remains in force. He made it clear those unwilling to comply have the option of resigning,” a source familiar with the intrigues told the Star.

The President also told CSs that all ministerial appointments must be inclusive, and dishing out jobs based on ethnicity will not be tolerated.

Inclusivity is part of the nine-point agenda of the Building Bridges initiative spearheaded by Uhuru and his new political soulmate, Opposition leader Raila Odinga.

It remains to be seen if Ruto will cease his early 2022 campaigns after he openly denounced his backers.

“The Deputy President is a democrat and believes that campaigning must be done at the appropriate time, in an organised, systematic manner that gives candidates the opportunity to have quality engagement with the people within a political party and based on issues and policies,” Mugonyi said yesterday.

He went on, “At the moment, he [Ruto] is working to support the President to ensure that Jubilee’s transformational agenda, especially the Big Four, is fully realised in every part of the country.”

Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa, Kiharu MP Dindi Nyoro, Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwa, Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa and ex-Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale are among leaders who have been drumming up support for Ruto.

The DP himself has been hosting delegations from various communities, with his eye on the top job.

Uhuru has warned on numerous occasions against distracting early campaigns.

On January 14, Uhuru reportedly told off Ruto about his ‘tangatanga’ travels in a closed-door meeting at State House.

Read also: Ruto rushes to defend Uhuru against attacks

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Sordid tale of the bank ‘that would bribe God’

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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 –

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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

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“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.

Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu

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William Ruto eyes Raila Odinga Nyanza backyard

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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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