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For love or for money?

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By SIMON MBURU
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There were signs from the start that MacKenzie Tuttle was destined for great things.

It was not a wonder that she was accepted at the prestigious Ivy League- Princeton University in US — for her bachelor’s degree in English.

She studied under the world-renowned author Toni Morrison, who acknowledged her as one of the finest students she had engaged with in her career.

In 1992, Ms Tuttle graduated with the highest honours and joined the multinational investment management firm, D.E Shaw, in New York.

It was while working at this firm as a research associate that she met and fell in love with one of her colleagues known as Jeff Bezos.

The two were engaged for three months and in 1993, they decided to get married.

At the time, Bezos had worked his way up the career ladder and was now the vice-president at the firm. In 1994, Bezos told his wife that he wanted to quit and start an online business where people would sell and buy books.

“I could hear the passion and excitement as he told me about the idea. And to me, watching my beloved spouse have an adventure, what would have been better than become part of it,” Ms Bezos said in an interview with CBS in 2013.

The couple quit their jobs and shifted to Seattle, where they established their online bookstore — Amazon.

Their venture grew beyond reaps and bounds. And 25 years later, in January 2019, Amazon was declared the most valuable publicly traded company in the US, with a market capitalisation of $790 billion.

This came months after Bezos became the richest man in the world. He now holds a net wealth of $135.6 billion.

To many people, Bezos and MacKenzie’s love and marriage would be the proverbial fairy tale. But alas! On January 9 this year, Bezos announced that he was divorcing MacKenzie after 25 years of marriage.

The announcement by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the world's wealthiest man, and his wife that they will divorce has captivated the imagination of the world. PHOTO| AFP

The announcement by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s wealthiest man, and his wife that they will divorce has captivated the imagination of the world. PHOTO| AFP

“After a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce …” Bezos said on his twitter handle. As the news of the divorce continued to confound the world, it was quickly revealed that Bezos had been having an affair with his friend’s wife.

The affair with TV siren Lauren Sanchez is widely being seen as the last straw that broke the camel’s back. In quick succession, racy text messages and explicit photos that Bezos and Ms Sanchez have been exchanging have come to light.

In one of the text messages, Bezos is claimed to have told Ms Sanchez: “You make me better. You’re meant for me. I know it more clearly than I’ve ever known anything …. I love everything about you. I love that your last pic takes me completely out of my head. I am crazy about you …”

The break-up of this globally renowned couple has elicited fears among women that a man will only be good as long as he is broke or financially moderate.

Divorce papers. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

Divorce papers. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

Take Patricia Kajuju, a PR practitioner based in Nairobi, who has dated both a broke and a well-off man. She says most men are indeed more likely to leave a relationship or marriage once they get rich. “You will technically be supportive of a broke guy especially because women are naturally wired to nurture. But once he makes it, his ego will get so bloated that he will start to feel that he needs another woman whom he can financially control without allegiance,” she says. Having dated on both spectra, Patricia say she would rather date a man who has his act together. “I want a man who has his business or career well set before I even meet him. It will make it easier for both of us and will also determine his outlook in life and level of mental stability,” she says.

Incidentally, one of the quick dating assumptions is that broke guys are generally well mannered while rich guys will tend to be boisterous and overbearing. But this is not always the case.

“I dated a wonderful, well-mannered man from uptown. I liked him more than the broke guy I had been with. He ticked the majority of the right boxes. But since I am a woman who has my life set, I ended up dumping both for different reasons,” says Patricia.

Nonetheless, the big question is: Are broke men bound to leave the women who build them up? For a start, there are men who link up with women because of the depth of their purses rather than love or a willingness to commit to a long-term relationship.

Ken Munyua, a psychologist based in Nairobi, says if the man’s stay in the relationship was primarily motivated by money, he will definitely leave once he has his fill.

This though may not be the reason behind the break-up of Bezos and MacKenzie, he adds. For example, Mr Munyua says the racy text messages that Bezos sent Ms Sanchez cast him as an expressive man.

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“The logical thing would have been to exchange this correspondence with his wife. The question then becomes whether his wife was receptive of such expressions,” he says.

This resonates with 35-year-old Sylvia Kioko’s sentiments. She says the case of Bezos and Mackenzie might not have been due to his position as the wealthiest man in the globe.

“I feel that it was not about leaving after making it, but rather a love season change and what they decided to do about it,” she says. “In any case, if it was the money, then the wife stands to gain as the divorce settlement will make her the richest woman in the world while dethroning Bezos as the richest person in the world.”

Ken also says that a number of married women will make the mistake of falling into the comfort zone after a few years of being with the same man. This is a catalyst that may drive the man away. “They settle too comfortably and don’t want the thrills that birthed and nurtured their relationship anymore. If a husband tries it, he is met with the question: who taught you that?!” he says.

TO SUPPORT OR NOTTO SUPPORT

Patricia says rather than extend support to a broke man, it will be better for the woman to get her life together. “It is hard taking care of a broke man in Nairobi.

The house of cards is real and in the modern and liberated dating sphere, your man may be yours only when you’re with him, regardless of whether you’re taking care of him or not,” she says.

She cites the persistent hierarchy of the rich marrying the rich and the poor marrying the poor as a status quo that is not so far-fetched.

Incidentally, there are women who will prefer to start a life together with a broke man.

Rachel Adhiambo, 30, says despite the risk that a man might leave once he gets rich, her most ideal man remains the one she can start from the bottom with.

“I would not prefer to date a ready-made man. I would prefer the one I can start life together with. As much as he might leave, he will live to respect me,” she says.

Her views are echoed by Maryann Kurgat, a 33-year-old banker based in Nakuru, who says that men are not always destined to leave.

“There is a possibility that the man might cheat on you, but leaving the marriage or relationship will not be because of the money or assets he now has,” she says.

Strikingly, a few men who spoke with the Saturday Magazine refuted the claim that men will leave, become promiscuous or act out of order once hit their financial peak they.

“On the contrary, it is the women who leave when they get rich. I think that men respect women and the fact that they stand with us through the journey,” said Elias Wanjohi, who runs a fleet of taxis in Nairobi.

But then, some men will leave if they felt that their women mistreated and shamed them in the manner they gave them help.

“There are women who give men financial help that is highly condescending. They make their men feel lesser men, and charity cases,” says Josphat Wafula, a systems administrator at a Nairobi based IT firm.

“Sure, the man will accept the assistance since he doesn’t have much logical choice, but he will receive it with a pinch of resentment that only gets stronger and more rancid as time passes,” he says.

This kind of turnaround is not always gender specific.

Wafula says just as a mistreated man will be likely to leave once he hits the jackpot, so will a woman who has been financially suppressed by her well-off man.

“Mistreated women who eventually get money and influence are likely to act in the same way as mistreated men who get money and influence. It is not a male condition but rather a human condition,” he says.

Interestingly, natural instincts also play a role in driving men to get more women once they strike riches.

“Men are naturally wired to provide for women. But few men will date more women if they cannot satisfactorily provide for them. Getting rich instinctively gives men the power to conquer, provide and lead, just as male lions do with their prides,” says Munyua.

Wafula concurs. He says many times, a man will go for ‘slay queens’ simply because he now has the social standing to access a certain type of woman he had always wanted but felt he couldn’t get.

“Unfortunately, this will be some younger woman who will only be interested in what the man can do for her,” he says. “Add money and enhanced confidence on his recipe, and suddenly the man will be gravitating towards college students and university leavers with fake hair and derrière that he considers ‘prettier’ than the lovely wife who has given him three kids and helped him set up a thriving business.”

To avoid disappointment down the years, Constance Aketch, 34, says women should be specific on why they are offering support to men and what they expect in return.

“Get a man you love and who makes you feel special without necessarily having to bend over and offer financial support,” she says. “I will only date a man who is self-aware, keen on his hustle and treats me like a queen.”



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General

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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